A man and woman in their 20s got into trouble while tubing down Dutchess County's Ten Mile River over the weekend, losing their watercraft and being forced to cling to a downed tree in the middle of the water as they awaited rescue.
One of them apparently was able to call 911 as they clung to the wood in the middle of the river around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The Dutchess County Sheriff's Office, along with Wassaic Fire Department officials and Town of Amenia EMS, were called to the scene, which they were confirmed by pinpointing that victim's location using GPS.
Dutchess County 911 dispatchers were able to stay on the phone with that person in the fast-moving river the whole time. Eventually, swift-water rescue technicians set up a highlight system and were able to deploy rescue boats and save both.
According to the investigation, the 27-year-old man from Dix Hills and the 25-year-old woman from Melville were tubing down the river and encountered some sort of unspecified problems. The woman started to struggle; the man assisted her.
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He injured his shoulder in the process, officials said. The two appear to have lost their tubes at some point or have been unable to use them, which is why they were holding onto the log. Neither was wearing a lifejacket. Both were taken to a hospital as a precaution. No updates on their conditions were immediately available.
The Sheriff’s Office issued a reminder Monday to avoid rivers, streams, and creeks after rainstorms.
"No one should be engaging in recreational water activity during these dangerous conditions. Increased water levels and powerful currents are extremely treacherous," the office said in a statement. "Other hazards such as debris being washed down stream, water obstructions and strainers create a life-threatening situation for anyone in storm waters."