Ranger Corbin Mager

Please tell this officer’s story of how they saved a life or showed exemplary service in the field. Including why this officer should receive a RISE Award.

On 7/22/2021 at 2257 hours Ranger Mager was advised by County dispatch of a capsized boat on the North side of Charles Mill Dam. Dispatch advised the caller stated the capsized boat was pulled against the trash gates of the dam and the subjects were in the water. Ranger Mager responded from the public launch ramp with his emergency lights and sirens, and advised other Rangers and Law Enforcement officers to respond to the dam. Dispatch had Sheriff Deputies in route and also advised the dive team. Ranger Mager arrived to the Dam at approximately 2302 hours and Deputy Coffey was also on scene. He drove his patrol vehicle along the top drive of the dam and reached the dam face. When he got out of his patrol vehicle, he grabbed a throw bag and put on his life vest. Deputy Coffey advised him that a fisherman told him the boat was flipped over and was against gates of the dam. Ranger Mager looked over the wall of the dam and observed the capsized boat, one subject was laying halfway on the overturned boat and the other was holding onto the side of the boat. There was a ladder to get down to the subjects but the gate was locked and Ranger Mager had no key to open it. He climbed over the rock wall and jumped down to a platform where he could get on the access ladder. He made it down to the subjects and observed they were exhausted from hanging on the boat. The current was running very hard with an extremely strong undercurrent. The boat was pinned on a bunch of logs which was between the gate and the boat. He dropped a rope to the female subject who was in the water hanging on to the boat, he advised her to keep hold of the rope. The male subject was in a good position on the boat at this time. Deputy Coffey and Ranger Mager dropped another rope down to the subjects and advised them to try and tie it around their wrists. They had life jackets in hand but were worried if they had the subjects put them on it would risk them losing their grip and being pulled under by the current. Ranger Mager advised the subjects that everything was going to be okay, to maintain the position they were in and we had more help coming. Ranger Mager believed the position they were in was the most secure at the time. Deputy Coffey and Ranger Mager agreed that we would need more help to pull the subjects out. Ranger McClellan arrived on scene and began assisting with the rescue. Deputy Coffey then tied the ropes off to a nearby pole. The dive team arrived on scene, Deputy Taylor and Deputy Sailor began to assist with the rescue. Deputy Taylor threw a heavy-duty rescue harness to the female subject and had her place it around her body under her armpits. Officer Boyd and Deputy Hendricks had also arrived on scene to help with the rescue. Ranger Mager dropped the male subject a life jacket and had him put it on now that they had the female subject secured in the safety harness. They dropped the male subject a rope and had him place it around his body under his arm pits, they tied that rope off to another nearby pole. They guided the female subject with the rope and safety harness to the debris that was pinned against the gate to get her in a more secure position. They began pulling the male from the water and guiding him up the gate of the dam. They pulled the subject with the ropes as he was moving his feet up the gate of the dam. They successfully rescued the male subject and moved him away from the edge, to a safe area. They then put their focus on the female subject who was just over top of the debris in a safety harness held by the ropes. The female subject was exhausted from holding on the side of boat while struggling with the current. All personnel then began to hoist the female up with the safety harness and rope little by little they brought the female up the side of the gate. They were successfully able to bring the female up over the wall and to safety. EMS personnel came down to the victims and provided medical care. The male victim appeared to have no injuries and the female victim appeared to have a broken arm per medical personnel. Deputies helped guide the subjects up the ladder and to the squad for further evaluation. The Army Corp of Engineers closed the gates of dam significantly just after the rescue was completed. There is no doubt that Ranger Mager's quick response and his actions at the dam saved the lives of the two victims in distress. The water current was so extreme due to flooding in the area and the dam gates were opened to lower the lake levels. The rushing water was so extreme at the dam the victims would have been pulled under the water and sucked into the dam in a very short time. In a dark, poorly lighted area, Ranger Mager jumped and landed on a platform approximately 6 feet below him to gain access to the victims. The access ladder to the dam was locked by the Army Corp of Engineers and if Ranger Mager would have waited for the dam tender to unlock the gate, the victims probably would have not survived. Ranger Mager risked his own physical safety to rescue the victims and to provide comfort to them in an extremely hazardous event. The photos attached are after the Army Corp of Engineers closed the dam gates. One photo is the discharge side of the dam.