Craig Storms of Bladenboro won a refurbished canoe stuffed with fishing tackle and safety gear Sunday at the White Lake Fireman's Olympics, according to Gary Allcox of Station 75, the Bladen County/White Lake Water Rescue Squad.
The canoe was recovered by Water Rescue personnel last year. It was donated to the department by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when no one claimed the battered boat.
Using volunteers and donations, the canoe was painted, and the inside coated with a non-skid lining. Wal-Mart of Elizabethtown donated fishing and safety supplies for the canoe.
The fundraiser brought in between $700 and $800 for the Water Rescue, Allcox said. The money will be used to bring a new side-scan sonar online with the agency.
"This sonar is going to lessen the amount of time our divers have to spend in rough water," he said. "We appreciate everything everyone did to help us out."
Angela Allcox donated a sign for the effort, and Ace Towing donated the lining. Members painted the canoe and made some repairs.
Allcox said three "special" volunteers helped members sell tickets throughout the Water Festival.
"This was truly a group effort," Allcox said, "and we appreciate all the help we've received from everyone in the community."
White Lake Marina gave the department a discount on the device, Allcox said. The agency hopes to have the sonar on line within a few weeks.