Yesterday the Naperville Fire Department performed two back-to-back successful water rescues from the DuPage River.
The first rescue took place near Melody Lane, shortly after 4 p.m. The swift water team, along with other members of the fire department, was able to help two people safely out of the river.
Next Rescue Quickly Followed
While packing up from that rescue, a second distress call came in at 4:41 p.m. – this time near the 500 block of South Washington Street. A person was seen going underwater in the river, but a member of Engine 7 dove in and saved them.
Assisting in the incidents were the Naperville Police Department and Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District.
Use Caution On The River
These incidents prompted reminders from the department about taking caution on the river.
“As fun as a canoe or kayak trip can appear to be, the facts are that the DuPage River has many obstructions and currents caused by the sudden rise in water levels and underwater objects that are not always visible,” said Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis in a written statement.
He adds, “When water levels rise suddenly due to excessive rainfalls, it is strongly advised to stay clear of the river and observe its beauty from a distance. Don’t take a chance.”
The fire department cautions the public that water which looks calm could have a hidden current underneath, the power of which should not be underestimated.
If You Are Caught In a Current
If you do get caught in a current, it’s best to roll onto your back and face your feet downstream, to avoid hitting your head. Once you clear the strongest part of the current, head straight towards shore. The best way out of a current isn’t by swimming against it, but across it.
When you are out on the water, always wear a flotation device that’s U.S. Coast Guard approved.
Be Mindful Of The “Toos”
And finally, the department says, be mindful of what they call the “toos” – being too tired, too cold, having too much to drink, too much sun, or taking part in too much strenuous activity – all of which can have dangerous consequences.
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