Scroll down to listen to the 911 call.
The Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department has released recordings of the 911 call, from a boater in distress, at the request of WQAD-TV.
A woman now identified as Sally Jo Slocum is heard calmly telling the dispatcher that she and 4 others aboard the fishing boat were in trouble.
“Yes, ma’am, we are on the river by the dam by LeClaire and Port Byron, and we are stuck in the dam and our boat is taking on water,” Slocum reported.
The dispatcher asks if all on board have life jackets. Slocum answers that the boat driver does not.
“But he’s getting it on, it’s underneath his seat and he’s trying to start the boat,” she said.
Emergency crews were dispatched less than a minute later.
The situation, though, clearly becomes more dire.
“Please hurry. Oh, God. How long will it take them?” Slocum asks the dispatcher.
Several minutes after the call starts, with emergency crews enroute, the dispatcher has to take another emergency call from a woman who wants an ambulance for her husband.
“Ma’am, I’m going to put you on hold for another phone call. Okay? Don’t hang up,” the dispatcher said.
The dispatcher handles the other call in about 2 minutes, but when she returns to the boater, no one is on the other end.
The fishing boat had already capsized.
Four people, including 911 caller Sally Jo Slocum, were all rescued.
Days later, Slocum’s husband Charlie, the boat’s driver, was still missing.