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Ozaukee County mother and son honored for saving kayakers caught in flood waters

Posted at 7:12 PM, Oct 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-29 20:12:56-04

Ozaukee County Sheriffs Office honored Maureen Hackett, and her son Sampson, for their heroism in the face of danger. Together the pair saved their neighbors from drowning in Cedar Creek. 

On Aug. 29, Hackett says she was looking out her window at her backyard when she noticed a man desperately clinging to a tree in Ceder Creek. It was her neighbor, and Hackett says she could tell he was struggling. 

 "I was just afraid that he was gonna let go of the tree to lose consciousness," said Hackett. "I'm usually aware of water and what it could do. You know, being out in Lake Michigan and I think people underestimate it a lot." 

Two of her neighbors went Kayaking down the Cedar Creek. During this time, the creek was dealing with extensive flooding and a very strong current. Their kayaks capsized, but only one person made it to shore. 

"That small chance to actually look up and see his head floating, that timing, the timing was you know perfect," said Hackett. 

Hackett told her son to dial 911. She then grabbed a dog leash and surfboard and jumped into the water to help her neighbor. 

"I saw my mom in the water. I felt, like, very scared and it was just crazy," said Sampson Hackett. 

The neighbor who had made it to shore, went back into the water to help Hackett. Ultimately, they were all stuck on the tree, using the surfboard to stay afloat until help arrived. 

"I would definitely do it again," says Hackett. 

The Hacketts say they're honored to receive their awards. Although, Maureen admits she feels a little embarrassed with everyone making a fuss. Sampson says he wants everyone to move on. 

It's their humility that makes them the best kind of heroes says Ozaukee County Sheriff Jim Johnson. 

"I think we're blessed in our community that we have good citizens that want to work with us and help us keep our community safe," said Johnson. 

Neither Johnson or Hackett say it's a good idea to risk your life trying to save others. But they appreciate any and all help citizens give one another and law enforcement.