Water rescues and high speed pursuits

Local first responders and law enforcement had several eventful days last week, working together with multiple agencies on calls including water rescues and high speed pursuits.

The Green River Fire Department shared information on an incident involving rescuing an adult and juvenile whose canoe had capsized in the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

At approximately 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5, the Green River Fire Department (GRFD), Castle Rock Ambulance, and the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to Lost Dog Confluence at the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, according to the GRFD. The report was that an adult male and a juvenile had tipped in their canoe and could not be located by the reporting party.

"Upon arrival, first responders were able to spot the two who were reaching a shore line on the opposite side and Sweetwater County Sheriff's boat was able to load both individuals and transport them back to the shore line where rescue personnel were waiting," GRFD reported in a press release. "Upon reaching the shore line, though both individuals were reported wearing life jackets, the juvenile was unresponsive. First responder crews were able to get the patient loaded into the ambulance and start treatment for hypothermia and related injuries."

"Water temperature was around 50 degrees," GRFD Co-Chief Bill Robinson explained. "The duration the individuals had to spend in these temperatures definitely played a part in the injuries."

An AirMed rescue flight launched from Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County and met with responding agencies at the intersection of Highway 530 and the entrance of Lost Dog road, GRFD reported. Highway 530 was shut down for about half an hour to complete the rescue operations.

"The patient was stabilized and transported to a hospital suitable for their injuries," the press release explained. "Due to quick reactions of the family to notify dispatch and get first responders on the way, along with the team work from all agencies involved, a positive outcome is hopeful for the family."

The Green River Fire Department used the incident as a reminder to the public that this is the time of year when people are out on the lake, and safety considerations should be kept in mind.

"Please remember how quick winds can pick up and to be aware of the dangers that are associated with water recreation," the GRFD said. "Keep an eye on everyone at your camp and the time they spend in the sun and water."

The GRFD also expressed their gratitude to Castle Rock Ambulance, Sweetwater County Sheriff's Department, AirMed, Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, and Sweetwater Combined Communications Center for assistance on the call.

For the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office in particular, it was a busy week, since the call to assist at the Flaming Gorge came one day after assisting the Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) with a high speed pursuit on Interstate 80.

The WHP reported that troopers were involved in a pursuit on Tuesday, June 4. The incident involved Troopers from Troop E, serving Sweetwater County, and Troop D, serving Lincoln County and Uinta County.

"It started when a Trooper tried to pull over a sedan for speeding on eastbound I-80 near milepost 27," the WHP reported. "The sedan did not yield and continued at high speeds eastbound on I-80. Another Trooper was able to confirm at one point the sedan reached speeds of 170 mph during the pursuit."

A Trooper deployed a spike strip further down the road, which the fleeing sedan ran over, according to WHP. The sedan then exited I-80 at exit 85 near James Town.

"Shortly after the sedan left the freeway it struck a semi truck and became disabled," the WHP explained. "Both occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody. The driver of the semi truck was not injured and there were no other injuries to report."

WHP thanked the Uinta and Sweetwater County Sheriff's Offices for their assistance, as well as the Green River Police Department, who also assisted during the high speed pursuit.


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