AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS Park Rangers Gene Sheard, center, and Gerard Healy, right, stand with park director Dave Horvath. Sheard and Healy were recognized on Thursday by the Carbon County Commissioners for saving the lives of two boaters who fell into Mauch Chunk Lake after their boat capsized last October.
Two Carbon County park rangers were recently commended for their heroic act that saved the lives of two people last year.
During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board of commissioners recognized Gerard Healy and Gene Sheard, rangers at Mauch Chunk Lake Park, for their bravery during a boat rescue at the lake on Oct. 15, 2011.
According to reports, the rangers received a notice that a boat had capsized on the lake. Two individuals were in the boat.
Dave Horvath, park director, explained that the pair responded to the area of the lake where the boat had capsized and helped the two people to safety.
He noted that weather conditions that day were "not favorable for boating" because it was windy, cold and the water conditions were choppy.
He praised Healy and Sheard, saying, "Every year they go through training and prepare for the upcoming season. Their hard work and preparation really paid off that day."
The two rangers were modest, saying that it was their job to act as they did.
Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, thanked Healy and Sheard for their dedication to the job.
"It goes to show that training does pay off," he said, adding that people who boat on Mauch Chunk Lake should take precautions to remain safe while boating.
Commissioners William O'Gurek and Thomas J. Gerhard echoed Nothstein's thoughts.
"It was an honorable thing you did," O'Gurek said.
"Thank you for the great job," Gerhard added.
Healy, Sheard and Horvath thanked the commissioners for their support and for keeping Mauch Chunk Lake Park a great tourist attraction in the county.
In other business, the county also recognized Rodney George for his service to the county Agricultural Land Preservation Board.
George, who served on the board since 1990, and as chairman of the board since 2001, had helped 17 farms, totaling over 1,300 acres of agricultural land, enter into the Farmland Preservation Program in Carbon County.
Nothstein also announced that Nicholas Mantz, a senior at Lehighton Area High School, has been appointed to the United States Military Academy.
He congratulated Mantz because it takes dedication, a well-rounded personality and the nomination of congress officials to be named to the academy.
"It's a very highly prestigious appointment," Nothstein said.