Missing woman found on raft

2009-08-19 13:19

Iowa City - A 63-year-old woman trapped on a small raft caught in tangled river brush could hear passing cars and people talking but wasn't discovered until a fisherman on his way to his favourite hole spotted her five days later, the woman's son said on Tuesday.

Jeanne Schnepp's odyssey began last week with a fishing trip on a tiny inflatable raft along the Wapsipinicon River. But when the Iowa woman found herself on raging waters that nearly flooded the banks, she partially deflated the raft and headed for the side.

Water masked the brush, which caught the raft and held it - and Schnepp - for five days before rescuers pulled her from the river on Monday afternoon.

"She's always out doing something that she probably shouldn't have been doing," her son, Clint Schnepp, 33, said on Tuesday. "Like this."

Even when the river receded, Jeanne Schnepp remained caught. The river banks grew farther away as Schnepp sank, trapped between a 3.5m wall of rocks and a logjam she couldn't climb over.

With only two cans of Mountain Dew and a bottle of water, Schnepp shouted herself hoarse. The brush was a couple hundred metres from a concrete bridge. Clint Schnepp said his mother could see cars driving over it.

So, she waited in just a tank-top and shorts, exposed to constant sun, two thunderstorms, hot days and cold nights. The brush was "out in the middle of nowhere", Clint Schnepp said, so passers-by were scant.

'No one could see or hear me'

"She said, 'I heard the cars, I heard people talking,"' Clint Schnepp said. "She was in a place where 'no one could see me, no one could hear me.' If you weren't on that bank directly above her looking down, she was hidden."

Rescuers spent days in and out of the water near where Jeanne Schnepp had left her car, about 2km upstream. Her purse was there; her fishing gear was gone.

Clint and his brother Corey went out on the river in small boats, but struggled as their spotlights overheated and shut off. Worse, the Jones County sheriff's office's boat was out of commission.

After days with no sign, Schnepp's sons' search for their mother became a search for a body.

But as Jeanne Schnepp's luck would have it, she was caught near local angler Larry William's fishing hole.

"He just went out to go fishing, apparently he walked by the snag because he always fished that little eddy," Clint Schnepp said. "Out of the corner of his eye he thought he saw something, then he actually went back to check it out, and lo and behold.

"He said, 'Oh my God, you're that lady they've been looking for!'"

Jeanne Schnepp was sunburned, covered in bug bites and scratches, and severely dehydrated. But Clint Schnepp said his mother was on her feet on Tuesday. She remained hospitalised, but was expected to be released within a couple of days.

"She's doing remarkably great," he said.

- AP

Read more on:    rescue
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

The rich will pay - Mpofu

The EFF in Gauteng will focus all its energy on improving the lives of the poor, the party's premier candidate Dali Mpofu says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

SAP Intergration

Western Cape
Definitive Recruitment
Market Related

Trainee Engineering Technician

Western Cape
Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Corporate)
Market Related

Service Desk Analyst

Western Cape
Datafin Recruitment
Market Related

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Treat yourself to something beautiful. You tend to put so much energy in making everything around you work harmoniously, and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.