Firefighters warn of swimming danger at Rockford Beach Park afte - KMOV.com

Firefighters warn of swimming danger at Rockford Beach Park after woman almost drowns

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High Ridge Fire and Rescue personnel train at Rockford Beach Park. High Ridge Fire and Rescue personnel train at Rockford Beach Park.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) - The swift water rescue team for the High Ridge Fire Protection District rescued an 18-year old woman and four men who were swept away by the strong currents of the Big River at Rockford Beach Park in Jefferson County Tuesday.

The group became stranded on a sandbar island downstream.

Fire Chief Michael Arnhart told News 4, "She had been above the dam walking and swimming and got swept down by the current with four male individuals that all made it to the sandbar."

A sign at the park, which is located near Highway 21 and Highway W, warns visitors that there are unsafe swimming conditions and visitors swim at their own risk.

Local residents say friends and relatives talk about the dangerous conditions. 

"People saying they almost got sucked under and saying how dangerous it is and they don't want to go back there," said Austin Oliver. 

Chief Arnhart is trying to get out a warning to those who live outside the area and continue to come here to swim.

Arnhart said, "When they get in that water the way it's churning and boiling around, their skills are not powerful enough to overcome the mastery of what that water's doing." 

He recommends no swimming at the park but strongly recommends those who do get in the water, wear a life jacket.
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