Meeting someone over the phone can sometimes be awkward – especially if you're focused on staying afloat next to your capsized boat on a St. Louis County lake.
17-year-old Bryce Tanski of Duluth knows this all too well.
But Thursday he had a dry land, in person meeting with Peggy Kuer. She's the 911 dispatcher who stayed on the line with Bryce until deputies could reach him and his two friends after their duck hunting day went south.
Kuer speaks with hundreds of people per week who are in the midst of emergencies, but county officials said in a statement that Bryce stood out from the rest because of the poise he showed and the clear directions he provided to help responders reach the hunters, who were marooned on Fish Lake in Fredenberg Township.
It happened before sunrise on Sunday, Oct. 4. The sheriff's office said after the rescue that one of the teens had hung onto their overturned boat until help arrived, while the other two used duck decoys as flotation devices to help them swim to shore.
All three were treated at the scene by an ambulance crew and released.
Bryce was invited to St. Louis County's emergency communications center Thursday to meet Kuer. Sheriff Ross Litman also commended him for his quick thinking and awareness of his surroundings.