Columbia Fire Dept. Swiftwater Rescue Division Shares River Rescue Tips

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- Just yesterday, the Columbia Fire Department rescued five people stranded on the Saluda River. Fortunately, no one was injured. The department is holdng it’s annual swift water training this weekend. Division Chief Daniel McManus said if you find yourself lost or struggling down the river, the first thing you should do is alert officials and let them know where you are.

“What’s you location, that’s very important,” began McManus. “As you know, there are several little islands out here. There are several bends and turns to the river. There’s different rapids so we want to know all that information. If no one is physically hurt and you’re just stranded, that’s pretty good. We just want to know you’re safe and at high ground. We’ll come and get you.”

Firefighters said getting swift water rescue calls from the Saluda is not uncommon.

“Since 2015-2016, we average about 25 swiftwater rescue calls in this specific area every year,” said McManus.

McManus said seven rescue calls have been made this year and with summertime approaching, he is training his officers to anticipate more.

“We’re on target. Calls like this where we get five at a time or four at a time, that’s pretty standard. Everybody knows the area,” said McManus.

Firefighters suggests taking a few friends and letting others know your whereabouts if you plan on being out on the water.

Categories: Local News, News