San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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May 27th, 2008
Drowning Youth Rescued from River

A San Marcos police officer and two park rangers resuscitated a drowning victim at Rio Vista Falls who was then airlifted to Brackenridge Hospital in Austin.

Police Officer Sam Myers was flagged down by a bystander about 1:52 p.m. Sunday to come to the aid of an 18-year-old Houston youth who had been pulled from the San Marcos River near Rio Vista Falls.

The teen was unconscious, not breathing and without a pulse, according to Ken Bell, Emergency Management Coordinator. Myers called for additional resources and began chest compression CPR on the youth.

Park Rangers/ Paramedics William Schwall and Katie Fontenot arrived moments later with special airway medical equipment and assisted in the resuscitation.

The victim was revived on the bank within two minutes and was transported by San Marcos-Hays County EMS to an area near Children’s Park where he was taken by Air Evac helicopter to Brackenridge for treatment of injuries.

The victim had been swimming with his family in the area of Rio Vista Falls since early Sunday morning. Witnesses told police that the youth had been diving in the area and then was seen floating in the current until he was pulled out of the river. Other witnesses claimed the teen was also struck by a kayak.

Officials said the youth appeared to have suffered traumatic injuries. Air Evac began transporting him to Dell Children’s Center and then was directed to Brackenridge Hospital.

In all, 20 emergency response personnel responded to the scene from five agencies.

Sunday was the busiest day at Rio Vista Falls in memory, with thousands of people swimming, tubing, kayaking and picnicking at the parks during the Memorial Day weekend.

By MELISSA MILLECAM
Communications Director – City of San Marcos

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0 thoughts on “Drowning Youth Rescued from River

  1. My dads girlfriends sister is the one that saved his life not the park rangers or the ems she pulled him out of the water and started the cpr and saved him i am glad for him and hope that he survives

  2. I am glad that kayakers have a new place to play and exercise, but when tubers or swimmers come, they need to get out of the way. On such busy weekends as Memorial Day, it is questionable whether kayakers should be allowed to linger between the falls at all.
    Does “20 emergency response personel” from five agencies seem excessive to anyone else?

  3. Kayakers wear lifevests, helmets and understand that there are risks involved with playing in a river. Many kayakers are trained in water safety and swiftwater rescue techniques.

    The swimmers and tubers are naive to think something can’t happen to them even in a man-made whitewater environment. Perhaps swimmers and tubers should not be allowed to linger without proper safety equipment and training. In fact, kayakers have saved many tubers and swimmers lives who were clueless about the dangers of the river.

    Don’t point fingers at one user group, especially on hear-say. Everyone has to take personal responsibility in and around the water.

  4. Glad to hear the victim is alright..

    “Other witnesses claimed the teen was also struck by a kayak.”

    I don’t understand what Mellisas Milecams motives are to have such a thing printed, but in my opinion it’s rather irrisponsible..

    emtpy claims only cause problems ..
    Stick to the facts..

  5. Let’s not grich over the kayakers at river please. If this is pertinent to the situation I am sure someone allerted the proper authorities and did what normal witnesses would do after and accident. However tubers with ice chests, dogs, trash, dirty diapers, cans, glass irresposible swimmers, responsible swimmers all can cause accidents that is why it is called such. Thank you to the lady and the park rangers and the help of our response teams!

  6. The first time I went down those falls, I busted my leg against the rocks. I remember being able to wait at the top until the kayakers were out of the way. (I could see down the falls) Still, it is dangerous. Accidents happen.

  7. “Witnesses told police that the youth had been diving in the area”

    Perhaps this part should gain equal attention as well. Rio Vista is too shallow and rocky to be diving. It is especially unsettling when youth without proper parental supervision are mimicking the irresponsible adolescents diving and flipping off the rocks.

  8. Yet another life saved by a quick responding, CPR trained bystander (according to “scott”, I do not doubt his statement), as well as Police Officer Sam Myers, Park Rangers & Paramedics William Schwall and Katie Fontenot’s much needed expertise. It may have turned out quite differently if not for their COMBINED efforts. Much appreciation should go to all involved.

    I did find something odd here, MELISSA MILECAM is NOT the Communications Director for San Marcos, rather it’s Melissa MILLECAM… go figure…

  9. I hope the boy recovers quickly. Accidents happen, but let’s not jump to conclusions.

    Is this the official city press release? If so that would explain the similarities to the SMDR article. If not then somebody has problems with their “writers”.

  10. “Scott” is very very incorrect. Yes, bystanders pulled the boy from the water, but they did not attempt CPR (or even rescue breathing) at all. Officer Meyers began chest compressions and a bystander gave mouth to mouth. SMDR wrote an article about him, the bystander, and his efforts the next day. The boy was released this past Friday from Brack, and despite having a C4-5 compression FX is expected to make a full recovery.

    I agree with Rick, “20 responders, from 5 services” sounds a bit excessive, but in a round about way it’s true. There were Park Rangers, City Employees (PARD), EMS, Police Officers, and Firefighters. Every weekend during the summer you can expect to see Rangers and Police in the park, the PARD staff was out for the holiday weekend, and EMS/Fire are dispatched together. I guess you could add one more service, Air Evac, since the boy was flown to Brack. When you consider the nature of the event, the fact it was a holiday, and the amount of bystanders present, the number of personel who responded (in a professional capacity) were needed and everyone perfomed 100% to save that boy’s life.

  11. I was reading these comments about you really saved the boy’s life. First off everyone involved helped with the saving of the boy’s life. Everyone combined efforts saved a life. That is the important thing that the boy was saved and is still alive.

    vicki eckert

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