What started out as an end-of-summer fun rafting trip for students of Sun & Moon Martial Arts and some of their dads turned into an opportunity to rescue an elderly woman who had flipped out of her kayak and life jacket on the upper section of the Rogue River.
Just above the former Obstinate J Ranch, the students noticed a woman who appeared to be sitting in shallow water, waving her arms frantically. They stopped their raft at the end of an island and two of the dads, Troy Niemeyer and Art Pernsteimer, jumped out and ran upstream just as she lost her position and slipped out into deep water. The two dads then swam out to grab her and bring her back to shore. She was too cold and fatigued to help herself so the dads brought her down to the raft that the students were in and the students wrapped her in dry towels. She was helped into the raft and then paddled over to the Pump Hole where the waiting paramedics took over to provide medical assistance.
At a well-deserved pizza party following the end of the students’ raft trip, Sensei Dave Pritchett gave great accolades to his students for their concern for the woman. “They demonstrated great calm in a life-threatening situation, which is what they train for,” said Pritchett. He also reminded them that concern and respect for the well-being of others is a significant element of martial arts training. Sun and Moon Martial Arts students train Tuesday and Thursday nights at the Eagle Point Grange. Sensei Pritchett can be reached at 541-821-2507.