On May 28, 2016 the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office received two
reports of individuals needing assistance on the Kansas River near the St.
George Boat Ramp.
At around 4:24pm, Deputies were dispatched to the St. George boat ramp for
a report of a female being swept down river. Deputies were told there were
three people upstream about 1/2 mile to the west of the boat ramp who had
gotten stuck in some trees and were stranded. A fourth person had fallen
off a raft after a boat struck a low hanging branch and partially sunk
forcing the three other people on the boat to jump off. That person was
recused by another member of the boating party. The three people stranded
upstream were able to climb the bank to safety. They walked to emergency
units that were responding to the scene. Two subjects were transported by
Pottawatomie County EMS.
At approximately 7:10 p.m. deputies were again dispatched to the St George boat
ramp for a capsized boat with people in the water. The St. George Fire
Department and Pottawatomie County EMS were also dispatched. Most of the
people were able to get to shore. LT Chris Schmidt was able to throw a rope
line and help pull one person from the water. One patient was checked for possible
injuries but no subjects were transported by EMS.
Agencies involved in these operations were: The Manhattan Fire Department
Water Rescue, Pottawatomie County Sheriff Office, The Kansas Department of
Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, Saint George Fire Department and Pottawatomie
With the recent heavy rainfall in the area, water levels at area rivers and
lakes are higher than normal. This leads to faster moving water and an
increase in unseen or underwater debris, such as tree limbs, that can
damage watercraft and cause injuries. Even experienced boaters need to be
aware that current water conditions can become dangerous very quickly and
precautions need to be taken for everyone’s safety. Persons wishing to use
the river for recreational purposes should consider the hazards that exist
with high and fast moving water, in addition the danger caused to the rescue
personal going onto the water to rescue the victims.