EATON – Three people had to be rescued from the Mississinewa River after their boat hit a tree and capsized.
David Prybis who is from Eaton, his 15-year-old stepson and a 16-year-old friend were on the boat. They had to climb up a tree and hold on to its branches. They were stranded in the river near Indiana Avenue and State Road 3. Someone saw them while driving by and called 911.
“I’m sitting here watching them, but the canoe is stuck up against a tree. There (are) two guys trying to free it and there’s another guy standing up on a log and the current is real bad,” the caller said.
The river was higher than normal because it has been raining.
“They’re trying to get it undone, but it (doesn’t) look like it and then the other guy is standing up on the log,” the caller said.
The accident happened Wednesday afternoon. Indiana Conservation Officers and members of the Muncie Fire Department rescued the group.
“Everybody’s waiting for it to get warm and (people are) jumping on the chance to get out. You’ve got to be really, really care,” said Muncie Fire Chief Eddie Bell.
Prybis had recently bought the boat. He used it twice, but had trouble on Wednesday because of the fast current. Prybis said he underestimated the strength of the river. The boat had safety equipment onboard. There were lifejackets, but no one had one on when the accident happened. DNR officials said charges are not expected.
“It’s just a situation you really shouldn’t be in the river at this time anyway. We just hope people would do something else for a little while till the river subsides a little,” Bell said.