2 missing underwater at Falls Park presumed drownedSioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras said early Friday that searchers on the Big Sioux River had changed their focus from a rescue mission to one of recovery.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Two adults who went underwater in a river in South Dakota's largest city while helping rescue a 6-year-old boy who had fallen in are presumed drowned.
Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras said early Friday that searchers on the Big Sioux River had changed their focus from a rescue mission to one of recovery.
None of the people have been identified. Sideras said the woman is a relative of the boy's but not his mother. He said she jumped into the water Thursday evening to try to save the boy, and the man jumped in to try to save the woman and child.
The boy emerged from the water a short time later downstream at Falls Park. KELO-TV and KSFY-TV report he's with family and is fine.
Emergency crews searched the Big Sioux River late Thursday for the two adults who went underwater after helping rescue the boy who had fallen into the strong current, authorities said.
Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras said an emergency call came in just after 6 p.m. reporting that a boy had fallen into the river in Falls Park. The caller then said two adults who had tried to rescue the boy went underwater just downriver from the waterfalls.
A witness at the scene, 21-yearold Napoleon Ducheneaux, said his friend fell into the river while trying to help the boy and a woman.
His friend had both the woman and boy by their hands before his hands began sliding, then he just “slipped and disappeared,” Ducheneaux said.
He said the boy emerged downriver minutes later, but that his friend and the woman didn’t surface.
Sideras said rescue crews were working against the river’s strong current and large amouts of foam, which firefighters were trying to blow away. He also noted that the water temperature was hovering around freezing.
Emergency workers carried the boy away from the river wrapped in a blanket.
The surrounding park, a city tourist attraction where people often picnic and wedding pictures are taken, was roped off with police tape as emergency crews worked.
The city is named after the river’s cascading waterfalls in the park, which is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike in the summer and spring. Thursday was the first time in several months that temperatures reached 50 degrees in Sioux Falls.