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Indianapolis firefighters recover woman's $20,000 prosthetic leg from Geist Reservoir

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Posted at 9:00 AM, Jul 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-26 09:03:11-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Fire Department divers provided a hand Saturday afternoon when they helped recover a woman's prosthetic leg from the depths of Geist Reservoir.

IFD Battalion Chief Rita Reith said IFD Tactical Team 7 had just finished a two-hour boat training exercise when Indiana Department of Natural Resources officers approached them and asked for help.

A woman in her 40s had spent the day on her family's anchored pontoon boat when she accidentally lost her $20,000 titanium/carbon fiber leg in an area of Geist Reservoir known as "Family Cove."

"Without hesitation, the crew gathered their dive equipment from the Rescue truck and hopped into DNR's boat," Reith said in a news release. "With help from the owner of the leg, the crew was able to assess a general 'last known location' and begin the search. The IFD dive team and tenders conducted a boat based dive and when subsurface, utilized a sweep pattern."

Reith said each diver spent about 20 minutes underwater in zero visibility in their search for the lost leg. They found sunglasses, an anchor and multiple beer bottles, but no leg was to be found.

After an hour, Reith said the divers were about to call off their search, but on a final pass, the third diver found the leg, which was located 20 feet underwater and about 100 yards off-shore.

"All smiles for both the firefighters, DNR officers and the very grateful family, who despite the potential loss of a very valuable item, maintained a sense of humor and were extremely helpful by staying on scene and near the last known location," Reith said.