Fishing guides called ‘heroes’ after coming to the rescue of injured fisherman


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A North Carolina woman is calling a pair of local fishing guides “heroes” – coming to the rescue of her dad and his fishing partner, who were seriously injured in a boating accident. It happened Monday below Ft. Loudoun Dam.

RELATED: NC fisherman in critical condition after boat overturns below Ft. Loudoun Dam

James Rich and Ronald Greene’s boat capsized, thought to have overturned because of falling water from a spill gate.

Rich was treated and released from the hospital. Greene is still at UT Medical Center.

That’s where WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel met Greene’s daughter along with the fishing guides she’s claiming saved her dad’s life.

She made it clear how incredibly thankful she is to them. That pair of fishing guides is thankful they were there too.

They were able to pull Greene from the water and start chest compressions, but they’re staying humble, saying they were in the right place at the right time.

Bucky Motz and Steve Duncan stopped by UT Med Center Tuesday and met the Greene family. They visited Ronald Greene in his hospital room, the day after they pulled him from turbulent water.

“Right place, right time. We were there for a reason,” said Duncan.

Greene was ejected from his boat Monday on a fishing trip. Immediately after, it wasn’t looking good.

“Yesterday was very trying. When he arrived, he was unresponsive. You walk in the room, he’s on a vantilator. It was devastating,” said his daughter, Sabrina Greene-Rusk.

But a turn for the better came just before our interview Tuesday afternoon.

“Fifteen, 20 minutes ago they came in. They had slowly been thinking maybe we could do something with the ventilator. They yanked the tube out and he has not hushed talking since. He’s in good condition, he’s no longer critical,” she said.

His daughter is so thankful, and giving lots of credit to those two guides who rushed in to help.

What’s remarkable is the TWRA says it’s actually not their first rescue – helping the victims in an eerily similar accident at the dam last summer.

“They are heroes, they’re heroes to me,” Greene-Rusk said.

“Blessed, but not really heroes. Just doing what we’re supposed to do,” the guides said.

Doctors will still keep a close eye on Greene, monitoring his lungs because he did take in some water. He’s also got a broken arm and deep gash.

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