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Fort Bragg soldiers save man run over by boat at lake on Memorial Day weekend

Jordan Lake (Gerry Dincher/Flickr)

Joshua Moerhing, a soldier at Fort Bragg, was enjoying his Memorial Day weekend on Jordan Lake when he says he saw a boat run over a man who had fallen into the water.

It was around 7 p.m. Sunday when Moehring, 31, another soldier, Erik Hansen, 25, and a former soldier, Anthony Kensev, 26, jumped into action, getting the badly injured man out of the water and caring for him on their boat.

The woman driving the boat the man fell from, Crystal Oster, 39, is accused of running him over. She was charged with operating vessel on the waters of the state while impaired and causing serious injury to another, a felony, and negligent operation of a motor vessel on the waters of the state, a misdemeanor.

Two 14-year-olds were also on the boat , Moerhing told The News & Observer in a phone interview.

“The woman was panicking, worrying about him,” Moehring said. “She was very concerned about his well-being.”

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The man, who was identified as Matt without a last name in court documents, was taken to a hospital for surgery, Moehring said.

‘I’m military, I’m real calm.’

“I just picked up a guy on my boat, and he got chopped up by a propeller,” Moehring told a 911 operator after calling for an ambulance. “He’s going to bleed out.”

When the 911 operator asked Moehring to remain calm, he said, “I’m military, I’m real calm.”

“The military has always told all of us, stay calm, especially in situations like this,” he later told The N&O.

Moehring said the man was cut from the thigh to the shin.

“His thigh, shin and calf split apart,” Moehring said.

The arrest warrant for Oster described Matt’s injury as “laceration of the knee requiring surgery.”

“We put a tourniquet on his leg. We’re tying it down. We’re trying to keep him alive,” Moehring said in the 911 call. “It’s as tight as we could get it and stopped the bleeding.”

As he spoke to the 911 operator, he called to the other people on board his boat, “Keep pressure on his leg.”

It took all three of them to take care of him, Moehring said in the interview.

“I appreciate Anthony and Erik, especially with Erik’s medical background,” Moehring said. “He did a spectacular job. I couldn’t have asked for better help in a situation like that.”

The N&O called a phone number listed for Oster on her arrest warrant and messaged her on Facebook, but could not reach her.

She was released from the Chatham County jail, Sgt. Nathaniel Green with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, one of the responding agencies, told The N&O.

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© 2020 The News & Observer