by Ray Pauley
Public Information Officer
Grand Island Fire Co.
At 1:27 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23, Grand Island Fire Co. rescue personnel received a distress call from Niagara County 911 that a boat was "spinning out of control with two people in the water" in the Niagara River somewhere off the 5200 block of East River Road.
Deputy Fire Chief Chris Soluri and Marine Unit 1 crews were activated, dispatched to the scene and were eventually assisted by other rescue craft from the U.S. Coast Guard; Niagara Falls, Ontario, Fire Department; and Niagara County Sheriff's Office. Meanwhile, another passing boater picked up 33-year-old Robert Strassburg and 25-year-old Krystle Kelley, both of Niagara Falls, New York, and brought them to the nearby GIFC boat dock area. They were then treated for exposure by GIFC medics but declined hospitalization.
Strassburg explained to rescuers and firefighters that he had attempted to make a turn, but lost control and both he and his companion were ejected overboard. Their motorboat was later secured by the GIFC and ECSO deputies and brought to shore at 5517 East River Road.
All participating units returned to service by 2:15 p.m., according to Soluri.