Reports of Public Safety Incidents in the News: 2022

Reports of Public Safety Incidents in the News: 2022

The ASDSO Public Safety Around Dams Committee tracks U.S. dam incidents reported in the news. This is not a comprehensive list of all incidents in the United States in a given year, and the entries are created (or excluded) using the best information available to us at the time. If you see an error or would like to provide additional information, please contact Katelyn Riley at [email protected].

Incidents: 20
Deaths: 17
Medical Attention Required: 2
Missing / Condition Unknown: 0

In order of most recent:

MichiganPolice video shows dam rescue. The Alpena News. 8/17/2022.
Quote: "Police on Wednesday released body-worn camera footage showing part of the dramatic rescue of a 10-year-old boy near the base of Four Mile Dam in Alpena Township last week.[...] Water flowing from the dam caught the boy in an undertow and left him clinging to the dam’s concrete base, his mother on shore and unable to reach him."

KentuckyMan drowns at Great Crossing dam. News-Graphic. 8/9/2022.
Quote: "A 39-year-old man who was rafting near the Great Crossing dam Sunday, drowned when he was pulled over the dam. [...] The day was sunny and witnesses said about two dozen kayakers and swimmers were in the area when the incident took place. The water was higher and the current stronger than usual due to recent rains, but not so much that a gate recently installed by the Scott County Fiscal Court would be closed."
Deaths: 1.

OregonTeen’s body found day after he jumped from an Oregon dam into a lake, deputies say. The News & Observer. 7/22/2022.
Quote: "The teen boy from Central Point had been jumping from the dam with a group of other teens, deputies said. But then he never resurfaced from the water."
Deaths: 1.

MIchigan: Princeton Man Drowns In Michigan Kayak Accident. Johnson County Report. 6/22/2022.
Quote: "The fisherman said the victim was in distress and “bobbing” in the water before going under and not resurfacing. Another fisherman attempted to reach the victim but was unable to do so because of the churning waters."
Deaths: 1.

Washington: Prosser rafter tossed into river at Richland dam dies. 2nd person survives. Tri-City Herald. 6/23/2022.
Quote: "[A man] and a woman were rafting on the river from the Benton City area [...] Both were tossed into the water when the raft went over the Wanawish Dam west of the Horn Rapids Golf Course, said a Facebook post. The woman was able to swim to shore, but [the man] was carried away in the current."
Deaths: 1.

OhioMan falls to his death after climbing over security railing at Dover Dam. News 5 Cleveland. 6/20/2022.
Quote: "The victim’s friend [stated] that he had fallen over the edge after climbing over the security railing."
Deaths: 1.

Iowa: Five people rescued after flipping their jet skis on the Des Moines River. KCCI. 6/19/2022.
Quote: "The adult and one child were carried over the dam and down over to Locust Street where they were rescued by the Des Moines Fire Department."

Tennessee: Ketner Mill area scene of drowning as search begins Friday night. Marion County News. 6/11/2022.
Quote: "[He] walked across the top of the dam and was on his way back when he entered the river on the “bottom” of the dam.
Deaths: 1.

GeorgiaTeen fisherman’s body found after fall into water near dam, Georgia officials say. The Herald-Sun. 6/6/2022.
Quote: "The body of a 15-year-old boy was found after he slipped and fell into the water near a Georgia dam while fishing."
Deaths: 1.

Tennessee: ‘I just kept trying to resurface’ 17-year-old nearly drowns at Peery’s Mill dam. WATE. 6/2/2022.
Quote: "Hayley was swept from her feet as a current brought her down the waterfall and into an area where she said the current was so strong, that she fought to get above water."
Medical Attention Required: 1.

Oklahoma: FOX23 viewer warns of drowning dangers at popular swimming spot. FOX23 (KRMG). 7/18/2022. (Event during Memorial Day weekend)
Quote: " A 42 year old man drowned at the low water dam [...] Authorities say his son [was drowning] in the rough water underneath the dam, the man jumped in to save his son and got caught up in that current as well."
Deaths: 1.

Virginia: Two women missing after group of 12 goes over Bosher’s Dam on James River in Richmond. WRIC. 5/30/2022.
Quote: "A day spent enjoying the outdoors quickly turned into a nightmare Monday afternoon after people enjoying Memorial Day activities on the James River ended up needing to be rescued when they went over a Richmond dam. According to the Richmond Fire Department, a group of 12 people went over Bosher’s Dam just after 3 p.m. Monday afternoon. It is confirmed that while most of the people were rescued, two women are still missing." 
Updated Story: Missing women identified in James River incident at Bosher’s Dam.
Deaths: 2.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma game warden hailed as hero after rescuing man sucked into water vortex. Fox News. 5/26/2022.
Quote: "A friend of the victim who was in the water told [the rescuer] his friend had jumped into the water and been sucked under by the vortex. He said he had been underwater several minutes."
Medical Attention Required: 1.

Oregon: Eugene Springfield fire crews rescue two in Willamette River. KEZI. 5/23/2022.
Quote: "Officials said the two people were not wearing life vests and had a "mishap" at the low head dam."

MissouriBaldwin Man Dies in Canoe Accident. KSIS. 5/19/2022.
Quote: "The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports [the] 32-year-old [...] was operating a Lowe canoe too close to a low-head dam [...] causing the vessel to overturn."
Deaths: 1.

Wisconsin: Firefighters Rescue Three Jet Ski Passengers From Peshtigo River. Peshtigo Times. 5/18/2022.
Quote: "As the jet ski washed swiftly under the bridge on its journey toward the dam the driver and his passengers were able to grab a cable that ran under the bridge. The two women managed to move themselves to nearby buoys, and the man hung onto the cable with one hand and the jet ski with the other until help arrived."

Texas / Oklahoma: Body of missing fisherman recovered near Denison Dam. KXII. 5/13/2022.
Quote: "According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, [he] was in the Red River at the Denison Dam as the sirens sounded to warn that water generation would begin soon."
Deaths: 1.

Oregon: Officials warn of 'drowning machine' dams after river deaths, high water. Register-Guard. 5/13/2022.
Quote: "Both were found dead in the river south of Monroe days after leaving for their trip, in what the sheriff's office believes to be accidental drowning. Investigators now think that going over a low head dam, colloquially known as "drowning machines," factored into the tragedy."
Deaths: 2.

Pennsylvania: Lebanon man and mother were fishing near low head dam in Swatara Creek before they died. Lebanon Daily News. 4/26/2022.
Quote: "A mother and son died after they were pulled from the Swatara Creek Sunday near Jonestown. [...]  [The] people on the dam Sunday fishing went through private property and totally ignored the warning signs."
Deaths: 2.

MissouriCalifornia man drowns after jumping into Table Rock Lake. KTLO. 4/19/2022.
Quote: "A California man has drowned after jumping into Table Rock Lake Monday afternoon. [...] According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Ross jumped off the Table Rock Dam spillway on Missouri Highway 165 and into the lake. "
Deaths: 1.