At approximately 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, Peoria Fire-Medical was dispatched on a drowning call at Lake Pleasant. The initial information was two individuals went overboard on a kayak and their whereabouts were unknown.
Three teenagers, two females and a male, each approximately 19 years old, went out on three kayaks earlier in the afternoon. The waters were choppy with a 15 to 20 mile an hour winds in the area.
The kayaks of two of the teens were overturned by the waves and wind. Neither teen was wearing a lifejacket. The third teen, a 19 year old female, was able to stay in her kayak. The boats were quickly swept away from the victims by the rough choppy water.
The teen remaining in the boat could no longer see the other two in the water and assumed they had gone under. She flagged down a speedboat passing by who took her to the marina and dialed 911.
Peoria firefighters responded in rescue boat 199 and attempted to locate the two missing teens. After a brief search they located the female teen who had been in the cold water for more than 20 minutes. She was exhausted and cold but awake and alert. The second patient, the 19 year old male, was found more than 300 yards away, having been separated from the other teen by the wind and waves. He was awake and alert but exhausted by the lengthy time treading in the cold water.
Both teens were transported by ground to the hospital for further evaluation. Both were in stable condition.
The Peoria Fire-Medical Department has a full-time fire station located at Lake Pleasant. The 4 person crew is comprised of at least 3 rescue swimmers. Our rescue swimmers respond as a crew of four, either on the boat or from shore, and use industry standard procedures to swim out to a victim and rescue them. Their initial training is approximately 7 days for the swimming portion and 3 days for the boat operator portion. Our rescue swimmers are certified through Emergency Response Dive International and continue their training year round.
Please remember to stay apprised of weather conditions before going out on the water. Always wear an approved lifejacket regardless of swimming skill level.