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The original item was published from 8/14/2023 3:28:40 PM to 8/21/2023 11:34:19 AM.

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Posted on: August 14, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Water Rescue at Kayak Park

A sight of the Illinois River with elevated water levels.

Emergency responders were dispatched to the Siloam Springs Kayak Park Sunday afternoon at approximately 2:59 p.m. following reports of a water rescue involving multiple individuals. According to reports, a woman was floating on the river with a small female child. The woman reportedly fell off a flotation device and did not resurface, leaving the child temporarily stranded on the float until the child eventually fell into the water.

In an attempt to assist, a 16-year-old male ventured into the water, only to be swept downstream by the current. The woman and child were also swept away by the force of the current.

Responding swiftly to the emergency, Siloam Springs Police Department Officers Eric Henshaw and Christopher Ramos entered the water to aid in the rescue efforts of the individuals. Siloam Springs Fire Department emergency personnel were also on-site, contributing to the rescue operation. Officers Benjamin Taylor, Ashton Burden, and Joseph Coodey were also at the site. 

Eventually, both the woman and the small child were successfully located downstream near the shore and brought back to dry land. Meanwhile, the male teenager was guided to the opposite side of the river, accompanied by Officer Ramos.

All individuals involved in this incident were accounted for and fortunately appeared to be unhurt. The dedicated officers and firemen involved in the rescue operation thankfully remained unharmed as well.

Taking proactive steps, Fire and Police Department personnel engaged with the employees responsible for the Kayak Park. Subsequently, the decision was made to shut down the park until further notice.

As authorities continue their investigation into the circumstances of the water rescue, it serves as a reminder of the potential dangers posed by recreational water activities. The incident underscores the importance of adhering to safety measures and maintaining vigilance, especially when the safety of young children and individuals is at stake.

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