Safety at Dams in the News: 2019

Incidents: 19
Deaths: 17
Injuries: 8


In order of most recent:

Oklahoma28-year-old Texas man drowns while fishing in southeast Oklahoma, officials say. 6/16/2019. KOCO News 5.
Quote: "A 28-year-old Texas man drowned Saturday night while fishing at Denison Dam in southeast Oklahoma"

Idaho: 21-year-old Idaho man drowns in Teton River Friday afternoon. 6/18/2019. Standard Journal.
Quote: "The young men floated in tubes over a diversion dam and the currents stranded two of the young men and an undertow dragged the 21-year-old male under the dam, trapping him and drowning him."

CaliforniaMan drowns after attempting to 'surf a spillway' off the Kings River. 6/15/2019. ABC30 Fresno CA.
Quote: "According to investigators, he tied a rope to a handrail, then himself and jumped in with a raft, attempting to "surf the spillway." When he did and jumped into the raft, the raft broke out of the bottom and he went down into the water and never resurfaced."

UtahKayaker drowns in Jordan River. 6/14/2019. The Salt Lake Tribune.
Quote: "The man, who was described as in his 50s, was kayaking ... when the boat overturned on the spillway. The force of the moving water kept the man submerged underwater and he drowned, according to officials."

MinnesotaWoman escapes Mississippi River near edge of dam. 6/9/2019. KSTP News.
Quote: "She escaped just before going over a nearby dam .... The video shows an emergency responder and a person who appears to be a civilian help her to her feet and off the rocky bank where she made it out of the water."

TennesseeWho owns Peery's Mill Dam? Drowning victim's mother wants safety changes. 6/10/2019. WBIR News.
Quote: "Several people have drowned in the vortexes created at Peery's Mill and other low-head dams throughout the country. [A] Hardin Valley Middle School student ... drowned in the Littler River one week ago. Her mother and the relatives of other drowning victims are asking for improved warning signs and other safety improvements"

MissouriIndependence man dies at Blue Springs Lake. 6/10/2019. KSHB News.
Quote: "[A man] was spotted casting a net near the spillway at the Blue Springs Lake during the mid-afternoon. About an hour later, [he] was spotted floating face down in the water around 5:30 p.m."

New Jersey: Man rescued from Camden County dam. 6/4/2019. WPVI-TV.
Quote: "Officials said the man climbed on the water structure but then became stuck when the water level dropped."

NebraskaBody of missing kayaker found; grandfather remembers his grandson as humble. 6/11/2019. Lincoln Journal Star.
Quote: " [A man] was trying to go over the Loup Public Power District diversion dam on the Loup River on May 25 when his kayak tipped over."

MichiganKayaker dies after being pulled into water at dam. 5/30/2019. WTVB.
Quote: "The Albion Department of Public Safety says [a] 56-year-old [women] was kayaking with a friend when she lost control of her kayak and the swift-moving water pulled her under through a nearby dam"

Colorado: Pueblo officials urge water safety following man's death, 5/30/2019. Associated Press.
Quote: "Pueblo emergency officials are warning of the dangers of the area's waterways after an 18-year-old man was found dead in a canal this week."

Indiana: The search continues for the kayaker caught under a Norway Dam current. 5/27/2019. WLFI News.
Quote: "Lieutenant Dan Dulin with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has spent the day with six other agencies searching for a body in the Norway Dam. 'The White County communications center received a 911 call from individuals that stated their friend had capsized in a kayak,' said Dulin."

OklahomaHero dies trying to save girl from swirling waters. 5/6/2019. KTEN News
Quote: " The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said a Denison man drowned Sunday evening while trying to save a 10-year-old girl from strong current near Denison Dam."

North CarolinaAfter teetering over the edge of dam for days, boat is removed, NC officials say. 4/16/2019. Charlotte Observer.
Quote: "Polk County Emergency Management posted late Monday that heavy winds and high lake levels prevented crews from removing the pontoon boat. 'It is too dangerous for anyone to get close to the boat with the current conditions,' Monday’s post said."
Note: While nobody was hurt in this incident, first responders were put in danger while trying to recover the boat from the dam.

GeorgiaAL woman killed in kayaking incident on Chattahoochee River ID’d. 4/3/2019. WTVM9.
Quote: "Harris County Coroner Joe Weldon has confirmed that [a] 37-year-old [women] from Henagar, Alabama died when the kayak she was in with her 11-year-old son went through a low head dam on the Chattahoochee River."

IllinoisTwo Bodies Identified From DuPage River Near Hammel Woods In Shorewood. 4/1/2019. WJOL.
Quotes: "The bodies of two people who drowned Sunday, March 31, in the DuPage River in Shorewood were recovered Monday, April 1, by emergency responders." "The dam may look calm at times, but it is extremely dangerous because of the turbulence at the structure’s base."

IndianaSearch suspended for person seen in water near Edinburgh’s Big Blue River Dam. 1/24/2019. FOX59.
Quote: The search for a person seen going into the water near the Big Blue River Dam has been suspended.

Wisconsin: 2 children pulled from water after falling through ice in Sparta. 1/6/2019. WAOW
Quote: Fire Chief Mike Arnold says at 3:11 p.m. they received a call for someone falling through the ice. He says they were told three children under the age of 12 were on the ice walking near the dam when two of them fell through.

Iowa: Two Kayakers Involved in Accident Near Red Rock Dam. 1/5/2019, KNIA/KRLS
Quote: “We saw the kayaks were up by the danger sign, and one of them got sucked in and the other one followed him in and got sucked in too,” he said.

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