Bartlesville firefighters used the department’s new swift water rescue boat to save a man stranded in the Caney River on Sunday morning, fire department Training/Public Information Officer Bill Hollander told City Beat this week.
“At approximately 9:30 Sunday morning, Bartlesville firefighters were called to the area of Johnstone Park for a report of a person in the river,” Hollander said. “A fisherman had gone to the river to fish and heard the man’s cries for help before calling 911.”
Hollander said when firefighters arrived, they saw a middle aged man struggling to cling to a branch in the river, approximately 15 feet from shore.
“Firefighters climbed down the river bank closest to him and threw him a rescue rope while the boat was getting readied for launch,” he said. “The firefighters instructed the man how to secure himself with the rope while they held the other end. Three firefighters entered the boat, paddled across to the man’s location and pulled him into the rescue craft quickly before bringing him back to shore.”
Hollander said that when asked why he was in the water and for how long, the man simply replied, “Forever!” He was transported to the local hospital to be checked out for hypothermia and other issues.
Fifteen firefighters recently completed water rescue training just last month, some learning the techniques used in the rescue, Hollander said.
Photo courtesy of Bartlesville Fire Department