Authorities warn about dangerous water levels after teenager rescued from creek

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BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. – Bartholomew County authorities have responded to two water rescues in less than a week.

The recent rain is making rivers and creeks even more dangerous.

“Once you’ve lost control, you’re at the water’s mercy,” said Dan Merz, a captain with the Columbus Township Fire and Rescue.

On Monday evening, a teenager had a close call on Clifty Creek. One of his friends called 911 when he would see there was trouble. Rescue crews responded.

“He was stationary but he was in rapidly moving water so very swift water surrounding him. If he would’ve tried to move or exit, he would’ve been taken away by the swift water,” said Merz.

The teenager was in chest-deep water and was holding onto a log. Crews had to use boats to get to the other side of the creek to reach him.

“Obviously, whenever we get a dispatch like that, we are thinking the worst-case scenario because we’ve had those worst-case scenarios in the past,” said Chris Lane, chief deputy with the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office.

The teenager was taken to the hospital just to be checked out but is okay.

Over the weekend, on the west of Columbus, three juveniles fell out of their kayak. All three had to be rescued. None of them were wearing life jackets. Thankfully, none of them were hurt.

“It can be more dangerous than it looks. We want you to be safe. We know people like to get out and kayak and play in the water but you want you to do it safely and go home at the end of the day,” said Merz.  

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