Canoe safely found

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Over the past weekend, Colonel Bob Miller got back his lost racing canoe.

Miller, who is the post advisor to Explorer Post 313, reported the canoe stolen from his home after the March 11 floods.

Then, on Saturday, over a month after the canoe went missing, Miller got a call about its discovery. Miller said a friend of his was on Beall Street — only blocks from Miller’s home — when his friend thought he spotted the distinct aluminum canoe. All the Explorer racing canoes have a school bus yellow splash of color across their bows, and the paint gave the canoe away.

However, far from being stolen, Miller said the canoe was apparently used in several water rescues by a city firefighter who’d then forgotten to return it. Miller said the canoe was at a home owned by Cody Cook, a former Explorer Scout. Cook was friends with Tyler Pigott, another former Explorer Scout and a city firefighter, and it was Pigott who’d taken the canoe.

Pigott wrote to Miller in a letter that he got a call at 6:15 a.m. on March 11, as the rivers and creeks were rising, to report to work. He was called in to perform rescues. According to Pigott, after several rescues—including one that required some swimming — he realized he would need a water craft, and he went to find Miller. Pigott said he couldn’t find the scout leader, so he took a canoe, two paddles and a life jacket. Pigott said he then recruited his friend Cook, and the two began rescuing families and their pets. In total, they rescued nine people, six dogs and two cats.

After that, he called into headquarters.

“I was ordered to report back to headquarters immediately,” Pigott wrote. “So I went to drop Cody Cook off but in order to serve as quickly as possible, we agreed to drop the canoe off at Cody Cook’s residence with the intentions of bringing it back as soon as I was released.”

Little did Pigott know, he wouldn’t be free for days.

“At 6:30 p.m. I was relieved of duty when I received a call from home stating the water was beginning to rise,” he wrote. “I rushed home to begin preparing for y own safety. We were then trapped by waters for three days. I had forgotten all about the return of the canoe until the evening of April 16, 2016, when I was contacted by Col. Miller.”

Miller said he wasn’t upset the canoe was used for good. But, he said he was upset the canoe wasn’t promptly returned.

“The upshot is, I am glad he was able to use a racing canoe and rescue number of people and cats and dogs,” he said. “I chewed them both out real bad and they’re sorry about not letting me know about the canoe.”