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Family affected by tragedy raises funds for rescuers

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Posted at 9:06 AM, Nov 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-25 09:15:07-05

CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky. (WPSD) — The family of a Murray State student killed in a boating accident have raised money for fire-rescue workers in Calloway County in honor of their daughter.

According to WPSD Local 6, the family of Samantha Ratledge raised money in memory of their daughter who died over Labor Day weekend. Ratledge, 22, fell from a pontoon boat into Kentucky Lake.

Crews with Calloway County Fire-Rescue were responsible for searching for Ratledge. They found her body on the morning of Sept. 3.

The Ratledge family thanked Calloway County Fire-Rescue, then asked what they can do to help the rescue squad. Fire Chief Thomas Morgan replied that their sonars are old.

"Searching for her all day, the next day, and then into the next morning, the equipment was just not there to be able to tell what was on the floor. And (the fire chief) said it was outdated sonars." David Ratledge told WPSD. "And I said, 'Well, let's work on getting you some brand new stuff' so that no one else has to wait this long."

The family's initial goal was to raise $10,000 to buy new sonars for the squad. A GoFundMe page and t-shirt fundraiser ultimately raised $24,320, far exceeding their expectations.

With the surplus the fire department was able to purchase four new sonars and a new boat.