CAPâ��helps with Lewis search
Published: Thursday, June 7th, 2012
On Tuesday, May 29, at 4:45 a.m. the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Squadron, Crazy Horse Composite, was activated into search and rescue operations for one of its own cadets. Cadet 2nd Lt. Justin Lewis of Hill City had been kayaking on Deerfield Lake and failed to meet with his mother at a prearranged time. The family requested the assistance of Civil Air Patrol. The commander, Cpt. Sharon Moad, called searchers and air crew members. The team left Custer within hours to meet up with the Pennington County Sheriff and search and rescue personnel. The search team located a life vest that was later confirmed to be Lewis’.
Many CAP squadrons responded. All West River squadrons searched for three days with members from Brookings and Sioux Falls joining on Thursday. CAP planes flew over six times.
“This is part of what we do, but this time is hard because this time it’s one of ours,”â��Moad said.
Lewis was part of the color guard in the squadron when it won first place in the state competition and second place in the region competition.
At one point, there were over 160 people searching for Lewis. The Black Hills Area Chapter of the American Red Cross took care of feeding the rescuers. It had recently completed an exercise on sheltering in Custer in which the Crazy Horse squadron assisted them. The CAPâ��wing chaplain was requested to be of service in the event members needed to talk about these events. The CAPâ��critical incident stress team is also available to members and their families if needed. Ground searches were eventually called off, but water searches continued.
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