Family Thankful for Ferry Crew, Passengers for Saving Girl in Icy St. Marys River

A family is relieved and thankful after a ferry crew rescued their daughter from the icy St. Marys River Tuesday.

It was the quick action of the Sugar Island Ferry crew and its passengers that likely saved the girl’s life.

Each day, Captain Dale Rosenbum takes people across the St. Marys River. But Tuesday was different.

“There was an object in the water, it was a red object, wasn’t for sure what it was at first. As we got closer, I realized it was a person,” Rosenbum said.

So he radioed down to deck hand Phil Roy and jumped into rescue mode alongside the Sugar Island residents on board.

“Everybody just jumps in and does what you have to do to save that person,” Roy said.

They pulled 16 year-old Mikala Stoppa onboard, taking her ashore to an awaiting ambulance.

“I was actually pretty terrified,” said Mikala’s mom, Christa Rennells-Remyszewaki.

“I got a phone call from my husband, real frantic, real quick, telling me Mikala was being pulled out of the water at the ferry,” Rennells-Remyszewaki said.

She tells us Mikala has cerebral palsy and is autistic and thrives in her routine.

When her school bus wasn’t in its usual spot…

“She decided that if she walked to the ferry that’s where her bus would be,” Rennells-Remyszewaki said.

Rennells-Remyszewaki says Mikala is doing well outside of a little soreness and a few cuts and bruises.

Her family is forever thankful for those on-board that ferry.

“I’ll never be able to thank those guys enough,” Rennells-Remyszewaki said. “If they wouldn’t have seen her, she wouldn’t be here.”

But Rosenbum and Roy say they were just doing what’s right.

“I mean we just did what we had to do and I hope everybody would do that,” Rosenbum said.

“I’m just a guy that’s doing my job and I see somebody in need,” Roy said.