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2016-05-26

Words to wise – or unwise – Avoid waterways after rains

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

“In times of heavy rain, even if there is no flooding, people have to be cautious around the river and other flowing water,” advised Bandera County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Matt King. Over the weekend, department deputies, along with EMS personnel and volunteer firefighters, were called to assist with two water searches and rescues.
At 2:52 pm, Friday, May 16, two brothers, ages 17 and 12 years, were apparently wandering along the banks of the Medina River in the River Bluff subdivision off FM 1283. At some point, the older boy was knocked down and carried away by the strong current. Although details are sketchy, the boy was located unharmed by first responders across the river from where his water-logged journey began.
Later that evening, two girls, ages 14 and 15, from Bandera River Ranch off Highway 16 South, decided to go tubing in the still rapidly flowing Privilege Creek before it emptied into Medina River. Their point of entry into the water, according to King, was in the back of the subdivision near the Perennial Vacation Club. After an hour, the girls’ parents called emergency dispatch to report that they had not returned.
Fire units from Pipe Creek, Lake Shore, Lakehills and Bandera responded and finally located the girls stranded on the banks across the creek. First responders gained access to the area through the Bridlegate subdivision. The girls, who were not injured, reported that the swift water had washed them rapidly downstream.
“After heavy rains, the Medina River runs swiftly and can easily carry unwary people away before they know it,” King noted. “These two incidents had satisfactory endings, but they could have easily ended in tragedy.”