LB - Kingman Academy of Learning

Home | Real Estate Search | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Obituaries | Subscriber Services | Kingman Digital | Contact Us
Kingman Daily Miner | Kingman, Arizona

home : latest news : local July 28, 2015

4/3/2013 6:00:00 AM
'They got a second chance that day'
Kingman teens, others in the right place to keep tragedy at bay
Daniel Brenneman (left) and Jacob Ford
Daniel Brenneman (left) and Jacob Ford

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - The water at Lake Mohave was cold on Easter Sunday. It was too cold to stay in it for more than a few minutes at a time - and far too cold to swim the buoy line that separates the boaters from the swimmers at South Telephone Cove.

But that's what a small group of teenagers from Las Vegas tried to do before muscle cramps and the onset of hypothermia threatened to take them under.

If not for a chain of events that could only be described as fortuitous, one and maybe two of them would have drowned, turning Easter into a tragedy.

Kingman High students Daniel Brenneman and Jacob Ford represent the first two links in the chain. The friends were cliff jumping on an island with Ford's two older sisters when they heard the boys' call for help.

The other links in the chain came together when a Game and Fish patrol boat ventured into an area of the lake reserved for swimmers.

"I thought, 'Boy, they're a long ways out,' " said Trevor Buhr, who was on the shore with his daughter. "The water was cold, about 50 degrees. I got in to swim with my daughter and it was too cold."

Buhr, the Region 3 habitat program manager for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, said the teens swam about half the buoy line before hypothermia began to set in.

"The boy who had the worst of it began to panic," he said, putting his friend who was trying to keep him calm in peril.

Buhr said Brenneman and Ford were between 200 and 300 yards away when they began swimming from the island to the buoy line. From there they had another 150-yard swim to shore, with two exhausted people to keep afloat.

Buhr's wife, Velma Holt-Buhr, a lake patrol supervisor, and Game and Fish Officer Lainie Antolik had just arrived in the area in their boat when they spotted Brenneman and Ford "frantically waving" them down.

"The one kid was in such bad shape it was almost miraculous the patrol boat was there," said Buhr. "They were done. Those boys (Brenneman and Ford) trying to help is what kept them afloat long enough for my wife and Officer Antolik to spot them."

Park Service emergency responders arrived by boat and land.

Brenneman, 18, and Ford, 16, take their heroics in stride.

"Three kids got stranded on a buoy," said Brenneman, who is already enlisted and will enter the United States Marine Corps when he graduates later this spring. "They were yelling that they needed help. We had inflatable rafts so me and Jake swam out there."

The rafts were not exactly seaworthy, he said, and both boys had trouble staying afloat once they got to the buoy, retrieved two of the three swimmers and headed for shore, according to Brenneman.

"My guy was too exhausted," he said. "He couldn't help me and the other kid might have been in shock. He couldn't answer our questions."

While Brenneman and Ford helped two of the swimmers, the third was able to swim on his own.

"He wouldn't leave his friends," said Brenneman, who considers himself a strong swimmer.

Ford likewise said he's in pretty good shape and he's grateful he was there to help.

"I just kind of feel we were in the right place at the right time," said Ford.

Buhr believes several circumstances unfolded that turned a likely drowning into a happy ending. In other words, a few people were in the right place at the right time.

Neither stranded swimmer was in good shape once they were brought to shore, Buhr said. "One guy was shaking and was incoherent. Half an hour after he was out of the water he was still shaking and twitching. He inhaled a lot of water. His friend wasn't as bad off, but he was so exhausted he couldn't stand up.

"We let them know they got a second chance that day, Easter Sunday. Usually, something like this would have led to recovering the bodies of these two young men."

Buhr said people on the shore helped warm the boys and brought them water.

"It was encouraging to see the public be willing to help," he said. "This was one of those faith confirming moments ... those two young men (Brenneman and Ford) deserve a huge thank you."

"They were calling for help," said Ford. "We knew we couldn't hold back."

His mother Trish was not astonished by the selfless act.

"I'm extremely proud, of course, of both of them, but it doesn't surprise me. I expect it from both Jake and Daniel. They're those kind of guys."

The boys from Las Vegas were able to return home.

Click for home delivery with comics, grocery deals, inserts, TV listings, coupons and more

Liquid Chicken

    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Feeling burned in Dolan Springs (1394 views)

•   Repairs to weather damaged roads coming together (797 views)

•   Restructuring sewer loans not a great deal for city (737 views)

•   One person injured in single-vehicle accident (452 views)

•   Bradley brothers making motocross noise (442 views)

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Article comment by: Lovelle Barnett

Way to go Jake and Daniel. You two are remarkable and I very proud to know both of you.

Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Article comment by: Neal Bellew

Good Job guys

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Kingman Chamber News
Find more about Weather in Kingman, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Find it Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Local Listings
Real Estate Search | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Find Kingman Jobs | Kingman Chamber | e-News | Contact Us | RSS | Site Map
LB - Unisource

© Copyright 2015 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Kingman Daily Miner is the information source for Kingman and surrounding area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Kingman Daily Miner Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to email your questions, comments or suggestions. Kingman Daily Miner Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved