Man Hailed As Hero For Rescue On Truman Lake

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
The Corps of Engineers presented a Plaque of Recognition to Lonnie “Buddie” Murrell at Long Shoal Marina, at 10 AM on Thursday, October 18. Murrell was being honored for rescuing three men on May 2, 2018, when their boat hit a stump, causing it to capsize and sink on Truman Lake.  
Murrell was fishing nearby and after hearing something, saw two men clinging to tree stumps in the water. They had been in the water for 45 minutes, but a third fisherman had made it to shore. Murrell called his son, State Trooper Tim Murrell, to report the accident, and then he helped the men into his boat.  Murrell also gathered up belongings that had floated in the water after the capsizing of the men’s boat.
“It was a cold, windy day and I knew that the men who had been rescued would be hypothermic,” said Trooper Murrell. “I was in Warsaw when Dad called, so I contacted Mike Eckers (Long Shoal Marina manager/owner), and asked him to lower my boat into the water and get the motor started.  His help enabled me to get to the scene of the accident quickly where I transferred the men to my boat and put them in life jackets. I had called EMTs who were waiting at Long Shoal Marina to treat the men. Mike and Don Eckers provided towels to the men as well as hot drinks until they had been checked out by medical personnel.  The men are all recovered from their ordeal.”
Larry D. Smith, NRM Specialist Team Lead with the U.S. Corps of Engineers at Truman Lake stated that “The unsolicited and benevolent actions displayed saved the lives of these men visiting Truman Lake.  Mr. Murrell’s actions is keeping in the spirit of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ safety first and caring for the recreation public. State Trooper Tim Murrell with the Missouri Highway Patrol and Don and Mike Eckers, who own the Long Shoal Marina are also to be commended for their assistance and response on that day. Trooper Murrell was the first officer on the scene... The Corps of Engineers is one of the leading water-based outdoor recreation providers in the nation and appreciates the partnerships with all the Truman Lake Marinas, Missouri State Highway Patrol, local law enforcement, emergency response personnel and the visiting public.”
Trooper Murrell said that his Dad loves to fish and the two of them keep each other informed on the best days to be on the water.  Trooper Murrell said that his Dad has been retired for 15 years from Lake City Ammunition in Blue Springs, near Kansas City. He is originally from Higginsville, Missouri, and moved with his wife to Warsaw, full time, five years ago.