What NOT to do during a water rescue - KOTA Territory News

What NOT to do during a water rescue


In the wake of the Sioux Falls drowning tragedy that cost a 16-year-old girl and a 28-year-old man their lives while attempting so save a little boy, proper safety became a concern.

The Pennington County Water Rescue and Search and Rescue teams advise the public what not to do when attempting to save someone from drowning.

"Don't go into the water is the big thing we want to emphasize," said Pennington County and Rapid City Water Rescue Team Leader, Brian Povandra. "Once you put yourself into the water that creates another victim." 

In the event of a public rescue, there are things the pro's recommend you do. First, call 9-1-1.

"Find something that you can either throw to them or a stick that you can reach out to them, said Pennington County Search and Rescue Assistant Team Leader, Tammy Stadel.

Members of the Pennington County Search and Rescue, Water Rescue, and fire departments work as a team in the event of a water rescue.

Each situation varies depending on the type of rescue, whether it is an ice rescue, dive operation, or surface rescue.

"We have different specialized gear for each operation," said Povandra "So it kind of depends on what the call is."

Experts say you can help by keeping an eye on were a victim falls in the water.

Water Rescue and Search and Rescue officials say survival rate is based on the type of operation, age of the victim, and state of the water.

Between 90 and 120 minutes of any search, the operation will switch from a rescue to a recovery.

Povandra stated that there have been circumstances of victims being revived up to the two hour mark.

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