Reports of Public Safety Incidents in the News: 2016

In order of most recent

Illinois: Keokuk resident wants to change boating safety in the Tri-States. 11/14/16, WGEM
Friend of man who drowned at Hamilton Lock and Dam urges improved emergency response procedures for boating mishaps.

Kansas: New Warning Signs at Kansas Dam Where Man Drowned. 10/31/16, Claims Journal

Michigan: Beaverton teen drowns near Beaverton Dam. 10/29/16, Midland Daily News
Teen drowned after jumping into spillway.

Illinois, Iowa: River deaths spark dam, boater safety initiatives. 10/21/16, Daily Gate
At least two people have drowned at Keokuk-Hamilton Dam this year, while several others were rescued in at least three separate incidents at the site. A friend of one of the victims (Bryan Sage) is working to raise boaters' awareness of hazards around dams, and is working with ASDSO members Ken Smith (Indiana DNR) and Paul Mauer (Illinois DNR), as well as local officials and representatives of the Iowa DNR, USACE and FERC.

Illinois: Wilmington sued after children drown near city dam. 10/20/16, The Herald-News (Joliet)
19 drownings, 20 rescues documented at Wilmington Dam.

Pennsylvania: Beavertown man identified as drowning victim in boating accident near Sunbury. 10/13/16,
58-year-old man drowned at Shamokin Dam.

Iowa: Dog stuck on Maquoketa River dam rescued. 10/6/16, WQAD- Moline

Indiana: Teens ride Jetski over Broad Ripple Dam on White River. 9/18/16, Fox 59- Indianapolis
Current pulled teens over dam but they were able to remain with the Jetski and power it out of the current below the dam.

Indiana: 13-year-old in critical condition after nearly drowning in Mississinewa River in Marion. 9/17/16, WTHR 13
Boy rescued from current at Charles Mill Dam by passerby; his 14- and 9-year-old companions escaped with minor injuries.

Texas: Cowboy Up-Man Ropes Drowning Victim at Old Mill Dam on Guadalupe. 9/5/16, Radio New Braunfels
Bystander ropes jet-skier caught in current below Old Mill Dam.

Illinois: Boaters sucked through Marseilles dam. 9/1/16, The Times - Ottawa, IL
Pair able to escape currents after their boat stalled.

U.S., Kansas: ‘Drowning machines’: Low-head dams an unexpected killer. 9/1/16, Wichita Eagle
A life jacket is no guarantee of surviving an encounter with a "drowning machine."

Ohio: Kayakers rescued from Scioto River after sudden storm. 8/27/16, Columbus Dispatch

Alabama: Gadsden police say body recovered from Big Wills Creek. 8/15/16,
Body recovered from current below low-head dam but cause of death not yet determined.

Missouri: Woman from Kansas drowns on Elk River. 8/13/16, KMBC TV - Kansas City

Missouri: Olathe woman drowns in southwest Missouri. 8/13/16, KMBC TV - Kansas City
Authorities say swimmer became pinned at base of dam on Elk River, near Noel.

Kentucky: Man rescued, arrested after boat went over a dam near Lawrenceburg. 8/11/16, WKYT - Lexington
Emergency management officials from three counties rescue fisherman from boat caught on rocks below Lock 5 on Kentucky River.

Illinois: Wilmington dam called a 'drowning machine' — but a fix eludes victims' families. 8/11/16, Chicago Tribune
Kankakee River dam has claimed at least 18 lives since 1984; at least 23 people have been rescued at the site. Officials considering notching the dam (est. cost $1 million) or adding concrete steps to the downstream side as done at Glen D. Palmer Dam; that project took 9 years and cost over $4 million.

Utah: Arizona teen dies from drowning in Piute County river. 8/7/16, - Salt Lake City
17-year-old victim was pulled into a culvert while swimming.

Louisiana: Boating scare a reminder of dangerous dams in the Pearl River, canal. 8/5/16, WWL - New Orleans
Survivor tells of being pulled over low-head dam, or "sill", at junction of Pearl River and Pearl River Navigation Canal, in 2014. A family narrowly escaped being pulled over another sill at Pools Bluff on August 4.

New Mexico: Two brothers drown at Percha. 7/18/16, Deming Headlight
Men pulled under by spillway currents at 18-ft-high dam.

Pennsylvania: Rescue at Dam Leads to Safety Measures. 7/11/16, WNEP-TV - Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania American Water securing area around Hollister Reservoir Dam after girl falls 100 ft into a well shaft. Vandals have previously removed safety features at the site.

Kansas: Seminarian missing in river helped struggling woman before disappearing. 7/9/16, Wichita Eagle
Kayakers caught in boil at low-head dam, 1.5 - 2 ft. high.

Kentucky: First responders warn against swimming near Harrison Co. dam. 7/6/16, WKYT - Lexington
20 people have drowned at Robinson Dam since the 1970s. Town meeting being held to raise awareness of dam dangers.

South Carolina: Man drowns at Dravo Dam at Broad River in Cherokee Co. 7/4/16, WSPA-TV
Man fell into river while fishing with his son.

Illinois: Autopsy shows missing boater died of drowning. 6/29/16, Herald-Whig
Fishermen's boat swept over Keokuk Dam; one survived.

U.S.: Guest on The Infra Blog: Jim Pawloski, President, Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO). 6/29/16, Infrastructure USA
ASDSO President Jim Pawloski discusses need to invest in dams and to raise public awareness of safety of and at dams.

Missouri: Dawt Mill owners plan to remove dam where teen girl drowned. 6/28/16, Springfield News-Leader
Girl who had been trying to rescue friend drowned at Dawt Mill Dam on North Fork River.

Wisconsin: Fisherman falls into Bradley Dam, drowns near Tomahawk. 6/27/16, WXOW - LaCrosse

New Hampshire: Kayaker recovering after being swept over dam in Tilton; Work on dam changes river conditions. 6/27/16, WMUR TV
Fence above dam had been moved to expedite dam repairs.

Missouri: Dangerous dam blamed in drowning of 13-year-old. 6/26/16, KY3 News
Girl who had been trying to rescue friend drowned at Dawt Mill Dam on North Fork River.

Illinois: Man survives being swept under dam at Alton. 6/20/16, KMOX Radio
Jet-skier swept through underwater gate at Melvin Price Lock and Dam.

Kentucky: Harrison Co. man dies after jumping off Robinson Dam. 6/12/16, WKYT - Lexington
Victim was 57-year old, experienced swimmer.

Indiana: State agencies promote low head dam safety. 6/10/16, Press Release - Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Indiana Department of Child Services, DNR Law Enforcement, and Homeland Security partnering to raise awareness of dangers of recreating near low head dams.

Texas: San Antonio man who died saving teens from Medina River dam was a decorated Marine Corps vet. 6/9/16, San Antonio Express-News
Teen violated city ordinance restricting access to waters 25 ft above and below city dam. [Sec. 1.09.044 Hazardous area near city dam - The area 25 feet above and 25 feet below the city dam on the Medina River shall be deemed a hazardous area. This area will be closed to all swimming, wading or boating. The signs will be posted as such and those violators will be fined $25.00 to $200.00. (Ordinance 231, sec. (11), adopted 7/1/03)]

Texas: Former Marine drowns after saving two teens caught in strong current at Central Texas park. 6/9/16, Dallas Morning News
Teens got in trouble when one tried to walk across a Medina River dam in Bandera City Park.

Alabama: Another teen drowns in Chattahoochee. 6/9/16, LaFayette Sun
Teens had been jumping from a dam; victim was second to drown in area within past 5 weeks.

Ohio: Teen who drowned likely was caught in turbulent water from lowhead dam. 6/4/16, Columbus Dispatch

Pennsylvania: Harrisburg firefighters share harrowing tale of fisherman's rescue from 'drowning machine'. 6/2/16,
69-year-old fisherman rescued from hydraulic roller at Dock Street Dam.

Tennessee: Fatal tail-waters accident is grim reminder. 6/1/16, Lebanon Democrat
Recent drowning at Cheatham Dam underscores dangers of tailwaters. A 2013 effort by USACE to restrict boating below 10 Cumberland River dams was thwarted by fishermen and politicians.

Illinois: Police recover boy's body from Kankakee River. 6/1/16, Illinois Patch

Illinois: Joliet father 'lost' after son, daughter drown in Kankakee River. 5/31/16, Herald-News - Joliet

Illinois: Joliet teen dies in Kankakee River drowning. 5/31/16, Illinois Patch

Illinois: 2 Blue Island Men Risk Their Lives to Save Drowning Kids. 5/31/16, Illinois Patch
One child drowned, another missing after falling into Kankakee River near a low-head dam; one rescuer in critical condition.

Alabama, Georgia: Update: Valley, Ala., man who drowned in Chattahoochee identified. 5/31/16, Ledger-Enquirer - Columbus, GA
18-year-old had jumped from dam.

Texas: Fisherman shares story of near drowning in Lewisville Lake spillway. 5/30/16, WFAA- Dallas
Rescued fisherman admits ignoring fences designed to keep people away from spillway; says lesson learned.

Oklahoma: Rescuers recount trying to save man, urge safety at dams. 5/26/16, KSWO - Lawton, OK
Man found at Lake Ellsworth spillway.

Indiana: Fort Wayne Implements Warning Signs Near Dams. 5/25/16, Northeast Indiana Public Radio

Kentucky: Morgantown man drowned after boat rolled over Rochester Dam. 5/24/2016, SurfKY News

Tennessee: Body of Missing Boater Found. 5/15/16, WTVF - Nashville
Boat carrying three people pulled into spillway currents at Cheatham Dam; two survived.

Kansas: Girl drowns in Fall River at Eureka. 5/11/16, KAKE News
7-year-old found submerged below low-head dam at Fall River Bridge in Eureka.

Colorado: Body of missing kayaker in South Platte River recovered. 5/8/16, Fox 31 - Denver

Texas: Man trying to cross a low-head dam near Lake Worth drowns. 5/4/16, Fort Worth Star Telegram

Texas: Divers recover body after teen goes under at Lake Worth Dam. 5/4/16, WFAA- Dallas

Iowa: Des Moines imagines a dam-free downtown. 4/24/16, Des Moines Register
Iowa DNR enhances public safety through dam removal/modification efforts (15 since 2008).

Alabama: Lamar County man drowns near Pickensville Dam. 4/19/16,

Kentucky: Local man drowns; New team finds victim in Barren River. 4/18/16, Bowling Green Daily News
Drowning at Greencastle Dam is second in two years.

U.S., Tennessee: Know before you go: Dam awareness critical on waterways. 4/17/16,

Wisconsin: Gov. Scott Walker recognizes Dam Safety Awareness Week. 4/4/16, WSAW - Wausau
State Dam Safety Awareness Week, April 3-9, aims to prevent accidents near dams.

Virginia: Woman dies, man injured in James River ‘drowning machine’. 3/29/16, WTVR

Iowa: Update: Charles City man who fell from boat identified. 3/23/16, KIMT- Mason City
54-year-old fisherman died after falling from his boat and being swept over a low-head dam.

Alabama: Rescue crews face many obstacles in searching for the Sanders brothers. 3/10/16, WAATV-Huntsville
Overturned boat found near Wilson Dam.

Wisconsin: Update: Body of missing fisherman pulled from Pecatonica River. 2/21/16, WKOW - Madison
Two men in their 40s died after boat pulled into spillway at dam in Argyle; third man survived. [updated 3/7/16]

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