Sioux Falls emergency official urges water safetySIOUX FALLS (AP) — Emergency officials in Sioux Falls are trying to raise awareness of water safety after two people drowned in the Big Sioux River last week while trying to save a child.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Emergency officials in Sioux Falls are trying to raise awareness of water safety after two people drowned in the Big Sioux River last week while trying to save a child.
People who see someone go underwater should resist the urge to go in after them, Division Fire Chief Jeff Helm told KELO-TV. They should instead throw a flotation device or something else the person in trouble can grab onto, he said. If that is not an option, they should mark where the person went under and call for help.
"I know in the heat of the moment it's tough to realize that, but (emergency officials) are going to want to know where that area was because that's going to be a big key on where we can start our watch and hopefully have a quick rescue that way," Helm said.
People also should avoid getting too close to water and watch their step around rocks that might be slippery, he said.
"It's fast moving water; it can be dangerous when you get close to the water," he said.
Sioux Falls is named after the river's cascading waterfalls in Falls Park, which draws about 525,000 visitors each year, according to the local visitors bureau.
Lyle Eagle Tail, 28, of Sioux Falls, and Madison Wallace, 16, of Vermillion, died Thursday trying to rescue her 6-year-old brother, Garrett Wallace, who had fallen in the turbulent river at the park but later emerged uninjured. Madison Wallace's body was found Friday and Eagle Tail's on Saturday.
Eagle Tail had no connection to the boy he tried to save.
"I know (Lyle) did a good thing, and we're proud of that, but it's sad to see him taken away so quickly," Eagle Tail's cousin, Pascha Eagle Tail, of Colorado Springs, Colo., told the Argus Leader.