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Left: Boats with this distinctive profi le patrol 38 lakes and nearly a half-million surface acres of water in Oklahoma to enforce the law, prevent crime and ensure boater safety. Photo by Charles Sasser


Troop W received the OHP Commissioner’s Award in 2016 for rescuing over 110 people from the 2015 fl oods. Norman recalls all too vividly a mother and her 2-year-old who tried to drive across a creek and were swept away by fl ood waters. He was part of the team that located the child’s body. Troop W cooperates with the OHP Dive Team in recovering victims of drowning, homicide or suicide. On Dec. 27, 2015, Craig Strickland, lead singer for a country band, and


Chase Morland disappeared on Kaw Lake while duck hunting during a winter’s storm. Morland made it ashore but died of hypothermia. OHP Marine Enforcement and the Dive Team employed a drag bar and Lake Scan radar/sonar—essentially a fi sh locator—for a week in inclement weather be- fore they recovered Strickland’s body. While training with Side Scan in September 2013, marine and dive offi cers came upon a pair of rusted vehicles at the bottom of Foss Lake near Elk City. They recovered the bones of two people who had vanished in 1970 and of three teens from the 1950s in the other vehicle. The case is being investigated as homicide, a crime mystery kept hidden for decades. “Law enforcement can be unpredictable, whether on land or water,”


Norman points out as he kicks in his powerful 250hp outboard to investigate a disturbance, a stolen boat, a child in danger, or some other incident that places life and property in jeopardy. “It’s all part of being a lake trooper and making sure people using Oklahoma waterways are safe and happy.”


SAFETY SCHOOL Education of the water recreational public is


one of OHP Marine Enforcement Section’s prima- ry missions. In addition to its “Boat Oklahoma” safety courses provided to schools, colleges, civic organizations, and other groups, Troop W offi cers distribute a free publication—“The Handbook of Oklahoma Boating Laws and Responsibilities”— which contains laws, suggestions, and basic safe- ty tips on subjects ranging from navigation, aids to navigation, weather action, emergency proce- dures and legal requirements for operating watercraft. The “Boat Oklahoma” safety course may be


taken by video, internet, or in a classroom. For further information on obtaining Boat Safety Education or to obtain the handbook, go to www. okboated.com, or call 405-522-1880 or 877-253- 2820.


BRENT GREENWOOD MIKE LARSEN


DUSTIN MATER


SATURDAY, MAY 28 NA TIVE AMERICAN ART MARKET


Browse art tents featuring native artists from across the country. Food trucks, live music and fun for the whole family. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.


BILL ANOATUBBY GOVERNOR


WEST MUSKOGEE AVE., SULPHUR, OK • 580-272-5520 Free shuttle to the Chickasaw Cultural Center available during festival.


JOANNA


UNDERWOOD BLACKBURN


MAY 2016


21


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