BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- A nonprofit organization is helping families to recover drowning victims, after the search for their loved ones has been called off. Bruce's Legacy Search and Rescue started their operation just a few months back, but the idea for the nonprofit started brewing 18 years ago.
“I felt this would be a great way to give him some memory and the things that he believed in,” said Keith Cormican, who launched the nonprofit Spring of 2013.
Cormican dedicated his life to water safety and rescue after his brother Bruce, a Black River Falls Fire EMT, lost his life in a water recovery operation in 1995.
“I've seen the outcome of families to have to go home at the end of the day, having not recovered their family members. And this is what it's all about-giving closure to these families,” explained Cormican.
“When you bring it up to people, they kind of think it’s morbid at first. What you need to do is ask yourself the question of what it was my son or my daughter, my loved one, that became a victim of a tragic water incident...what would you want to have happen? And we’re just fortunate enough to have the equipment, the experience and know how to help recover those victims,” said Jeremy Cormican.
Cormican’s son Jeremy is one of about six volunteers on the team. He says they have the training, the gear, and the passion to assist families in the hardest of times.
Bruce’s Legacy says even though they're stationed in Jackson County their dream is to help everyone who needs their assistance.
“We’re going to be offering our services, to be able to travel through the U.S., and offer it to any families that need it,” added Cormican.
Cormican says the money to get the nonprofit started came out of his pocket-65 thousand dollars for the boat, sonar equipment, and other search and recovery gear. He says financial help is always welcomed, but the intent of Bruce’s Legacy will always be- to bring this service to all communities free of charge, just as Bruce would have wanted.
The nonprofit has performed three recovery missions so far, one of which was successful. The group says if a community already has a dive team, they can help locate the body for those divers.
For more information on Bruce’s Legacy visit the links below.