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Conservation Enforcement Officer Dies

As you remember these fallen officers, take comfort in recalling that they dedicated their lives to the same principles of honor, duty and courage that brought you to the badge. Such a life is truly rich. Take strength in knowing that when an officer falls, our resolve to serve those in need is not diminished. Our dedication to protecting those in danger is not weakened. Our commitment to remembering those with whom we shared the badge does not fade.

Godspeed, brothers and sisters. You fought the good fight. Now rest in peace…

June 28, 2003

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Conservation Enforcement Officer Dies

Officer Down: Lance Horner - [Grove Hill, Alabama]

A game warden attempting to help his colleague drowned June 22 when churning currents at Coffeeville Lock and Dam capsized his boat and sucked him down, officials said.

James Lanceford "Lance" Horner, 32, drowned around 11:20 am, said Capt. Michael Patrick with the Alabama Marine Police. No one else was injured.

Horner had been a game warden for more than five years, Patrick said.

Another game officer, Sgt. Steve James, and an intern, Ira Hobson, were on routine patrol in the river above the dam when their engine became disabled, said Patrick. Their boat drifted to the wall of the dam, and James called Horner for help.

Horner arrived about 45 minutes later and was trying to throw the stranded boaters a line when apparently the thrust of his motor opened the hydraulics, the churning currents beneath the surface.

Horner's boat capsized within a second; he was sucked under, went through the floodgate and under the dam, said Patrick.

Horner was wearing a lifejacket at the time, Patrick said, but "the power of that water is just unbelievable." Patrick said the water was at flood stage.

Horner, a married father of a young baby boy, was always willing to help and work extra hours, Patrick said.

Horner was "a fine young man" who "lived to be a game warden," Patrick said.

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