Rescuers Save College Student Who Floated Over a Dam in a Kiddie Pool


 
 

| Monday, April 21, 2008


A Keene State College student from Massachusetts is lucky to be alive after floating over a dam in an inflatable kiddie pool, and getting trapped in the churning current.

Keene firefighters grabbed the exhausted student as he sank in the frigid river Friday evening. They also had to rescue a woman who jumped in to try to save him.

"He went over the dam, got caught in the turbulent water and was clinging to the pool," said Deputy Fire Chief Mark Boynton. "When you get in (the swirling current), you can't get out."

Boynton said two people were in the kiddie pool, intending to float over the dam, when one bailed out. The other, Alex Perry, 19, of Westborough, Mass., went over and got trapped in the churning water at Ashuelot River Park.

As firefighters inflated their special rescue boat, a woman who was watching jumped into the 40-degree water and began swimming toward the struggling teen, Boynton said.

"She said she couldn't watch him drown," he said.

The well-intentioned gesture complicated the rescue, because firefighters had to rescue the woman on their way to the teen. Her extra weight in the boat made it difficult to maneuver through the "boil" of water below the dam.

As the firefighters fought to get to him, Perry either let go out of exhaustion, or was yanked away from his float by the current.

"A witness saw him churn in the boil three times before he resurfaced," said Boynton. Perry popped up about 15 feet in front of the boat, but couldn't stay afloat.

"He went under four more times before getting to the boat," Boynton said. "They reached into the water and managed to grab his hand."

The woman apparently was not injured. Boynton said when they got to shore, she left, but told bystanders she was fine and glad the teen had been rescued.

Boynton said the area is so dangerous that rescuers often train there for swift-water rescues.

He said the dam doesn't look like much, with a three- or four- foot drop this time of year, when the river is high.

"That's what leads you to being deceived," he said. "With all that water going over ... it's just moving in circular motion that you can't get out of."

The current pulls victims toward the dam and holds them there, he said.

On April 6, kayaker Mark Boucher, 33, of Ashburnham, Mass., was pulled under after his boat capsized close to the dam.

He still is in critical condition at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Operations and Protcols

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Baltimore Man Rescued from Building Collapse

Rowhouse collapse traps a worker in the basement area.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

A Night with Wisconsin’s Busiest Medic Unit

Ride along one night with the paramedics of MED 5.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Patient Dies in West Virginia Ambulance Rollover

Marion County Rescue Squad crew is injured in collision.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Rescue Volunteers in Syria

White Helmets group at work during fighting.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Boulder Pins Colorado Hiker

Wilderness EMS team frees trapped hiker.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

North Dakota Oilfield Medics

Tactics used in offshore platforms tailored to the remote areas.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >