Water rescues on the rise

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By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor

Photo courtesy of Pleasant Township
Members of the Pleasant Township Fire Department train in water rescue techniques. These training exercises have been beneficial, especially this month, as the department has been called to numerous water rescues.

Water rescues are not uncommon for the Pleasant Township Fire Department, but the numbers have been unusually high in recent weeks.

“We have had a lot of rain lately, so the water levels are up,” said Pleasant Township Fire Chief Brian Taylor.

Earlier this month, a woman had to be rescued from Darby Creek, in southwest Franklin County, after a kayaking accident. The fire department reported that the woman was revived by family and bystanders. She is recovering from the accident.

“The waters in the Darby are dynamic,” said Taylor. “It is constantly moving and changing. One minute, it is a few inches of water. The next minute, you’re in over your head.”

Just several days after the woman was rescued in the kayaking accident, a 23-year-old man died in Darby Creek.

According to reports, on June 12 three swimmers became distressed in Darby Creek, near Alkire Road. Two of the swimmers were able to make it out of the water. Pleasant Township, along with rescue workers from Jackson, Norwich, and Prairie townships, as well as crews from the county, state, and Metro Parks, searched for hours to find the third swimmer. His body was recovered by the county dive team the next morning.

According to Taylor, the area where the individuals were swimming is where the Little Darby and Big Darby come together.

“The water is deeper than expected,” said Taylor. “There are currents up there.”

On June 13, emergency workers with both Pleasant and Jackson township helped the Scioto Township Fire Department rescue a stranded boater in the Scioto River.

“We do rescues in both the Darby and the Scioto,” said Taylor. “It goes in spurts, and we have had a lot of them lately.”

On June 16, the Pleasant Township Fire Department was called out to a residence on Gay Road, where a tractor had flipped into a pond, with a man trapped. Emergency workers found the man pinned by the tractor in a shallow pond that was under construction. The man, who remained conscious, was eventually freed.

With the hot temperatures of the season, it is natural for people to find water to cool off. Officials want to remind residents to be safe when in the water. Taylor said the simplest and most effective water safety measure is a personal flotation device.

“That is the key,” he said. “If you get caught in a current, you can go down stream quickly. You want to have a flotation device on if that happens.”

The fire chief also advised swimmers, kayakers, and boaters not to go out alone or to make sure someone knows where you are and when you are expected to return.

Taylor said many people on the waterways are just not prepared.

“The Darby is an unpredictable body of water, as are all bodies of water. The key is to be prepared.”

 

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