Sioux Falls, SD (KSFY) No one was injured after a water rescue operation at Falls Park Saturday evening.
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue was called to the Falls after a group of teen boys were swimming in the river above the low head damn in the lower falls. They were stuck on a rock in the middle of that area when firefighters came to get them.
"We knew they obviously swam out, so we had the decision about having them swim back, but the problem is the low head dam," Firefighter Phil Paszkiewicz said. "So once you get in that, its really easy to get stuck in there. They call it the drowning machine for a reason, so once you get in there, it just keeps tumbling you and tumbling you."
Firefighters say one of the boys was swept dangerously close to the lower spillway area when someone on the banks helped pull him to safety.
"He’s very fortunate he did not go into the low head dam," Paszkiewicz said.
Sioux Falls Fire rescue brought the remaining seven boys on the rock to safety with an inflatable raft. No one was injured.
The teen boys were part of a Wisconsin basketball team visiting Sioux Falls for a tournament this weekend. Parents and other adults with the group said they did not see any 'no swimming' signs in the park.
'Everyone that seems to be going into the Falls is from out of town, they just don’t know," Paszkiewicz said.
While there are several warning signs around the main Falls and below the bridge, there don't appear to be any signs near the low head dam area.
"It is not a swimming spot, with the past history we’ve had, especially recently with the tragedies at the Falls, I’d highly advice against swimming at the Falls," Paszkiewicz said. "It's really not a good place to swim, go to a lake and swim where the water is not actually moving, the current is a major issue, people just can’t judge the current and once they’re in it its very powerful."