Sioux Falls Fire Rescue pulls man from Big Sioux River near Falls Park

Published: Mar. 26, 2019 at 5:18 PM CDT
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Sioux Falls Fire Rescue crews retrieved an unidentified man from the Big Sioux River at Falls Park Tuesday afternoon.

The man was pulled from the water just before 5:00 p.m.

Authorities believe he may have gone into the water near the 8th Street Bridge in Downtown Sioux Falls.

The tremendous force of the water carried him downstream where crews were searching.

“The water is moving fast,” Sioux Falls Police Captain Jeff Garden said. “It’s moving faster than the officers could run to keep up with him at the time.”

Those rapidly moving waters and strong winds created a challenge for first responders when they were called in for a water rescue.

“It makes it tough,” Garden said. “If somebody gets in the water it can be hard to stay up with them. It’s easy to lose them with the debris that is in the water. If we lose sight of them then we essentially have to start everything over and try to locate them.”

A park officer spotted the man in the water.

“As soon as they got the call, they started setting up a perimeter along the park and setting up observation posts,” Garden said.

That officer followed the man down the river and saw him get tangled up in flood debris.

From there, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue was able to get the man out of the water and rescuers became performing CPR.

Police say the current condition of the man is unknown. It is still unclear how he went into the water.

“We’ll start interviewing some of the callers that we got and see if we can ascertain to how he got into the water or why and we will go from there,” Garden said.

This is the second water rescue call in Sioux Falls in just two weeks and while last weeks turned out to be a false report, both involved a lot of resources and time.

This time is was real and showed that every minute, every second counts.

“Without that good communication, the personal on scene setting up the proper perimeter and communicating that through communication -- without that, the victim may have gotten passed the bridge where he did and we could still be looking,” Garden said.



Sioux Falls Fire Rescue crews retrieved an unidentified man from the Big Sioux River at Falls Park.

Crews were able to rescue the man from the upper eastside railroad bridge.

Safety officials on the scene said they're uncertain of where the man entered the water but believed he may have fallen in at the 8th Street bridge.

Reports of the incident came in around 4:30 P.M. and officials say they were able to respond quickly to the call.

Stay with KSFY News for updates.