Iowa DNR Park Ranger Craig Oberbroeckling says 58-year-old Richard Rauzi of Indianola was snowshoeing and taking photos of geese on Lake Ahquabi Sunday morning when the accident happened.
“When he approached the geese, which were actually in open water, he got a little too close to the open water and fell through the ice,” Oberbroeckling said.
Jesse Bannor of Des Moines and Damian Bell of Pleasant Hill were ice fishing several hundred yards away, but heard Rauzi shouting for help. The two men drove their truck on a road to get closer to where Rauzi had fallen in the water. “They were able to get one of our canoes that was locked in one of the buildings, from the canoe rental, and take the canoe out to him and help keep him afloat until the Indianola paramedics and rescue workers arrived and were able to get him out of the water,” Oberbroeckling said.
The men did not have paddles and used their hands to move the canoe out to Rauzi. “I give both of those gentlemen the credit for saving that man’s life,” Oberbroeckling said. “If they weren’t there or if anyone wouldn’t have heard him, it wouldn’t have ended the same way it did.” It’s believed Rauzi fell in the icy water around 10:45 a.m. He was removed from the water by roughly 11:15.
Rauzi was transported to a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.