The area around the falls at Fall Park in Sioux Falls has had its fair share of scares, near misses and tragedies, we can add another one to the list as of Saturday night.

KSFY TV is reporting that a water rescue needed to be performed on Saturday, (July 14) after a group of eight teenage boys who were swimming, got stuck on a rock in the middle of the river just above the low head dam area of the falls.

Sioux Falls firefighter Phil Paszkiewicz told KSFY, "We knew they obviously swam out, so we had the decision about having them swim back, but the problem is the low head dam. Once you get in that, it's really easy to get stuck in there. They call it the drowning machine for a reason, so once you get in there, it just keeps tumbling you and tumbling you."

According to KSFY one of the boys in the group was swept dangerously close to the lower spillway area fortunately, a person on the banks helped pull him to safety.

The remaining seven boys were whisked to safety with no injuries on an inflatable raft thanks to the efforts of Sioux Falls Fire Rescue. The boys on Saturday were all from Wisconsin, in Sioux Falls for the weekend to take part in a basketball tournament.

Paszkiewicz told KSFY, "everyone that seems to be going into the Falls is from out of town." Most people are not familiar with the no swimming regulations in the Big Sioux River near Falls Park.

There are several warning signs around the main Falls and below the bridge, but as Paszkiewicz says, "there don't appear to be any signs near the low head dam area. It's not a swimming spot." The current of the water in that area is the big issue, "people have no way of judging the current and once they’re in it it's very powerful" said Paszkiewicz.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and the Sioux Falls Police Department released a statement on Saturday reminding residents and visitors to Sioux Falls that swimming is prohibited in the Big Sioux River at Falls Park.

Source: KSFY TV


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