LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) urge outdoor recreationists to stay away from standing or moving flood waters in western and central Nebraska.
Game and Parks officers rescued a man from the South Platte River west of Big Springs on Sept. 18.
Joseph Schneiderwind, 48, of Conifer, Colo., and his brother, Mike Schneiderwind, 54, of Castle Rock, Colo., had launched a canoe on the swollen river. The canoe capsized in debris about a mile east of the Colorado state line. Joseph Schneiderwind remained on a sandbar while Mike Schneiderwind swam to shore, walked to U.S. Highway 138, which runs parallel to the river, and flagged down a motorist for assistance. By the time rescuers arrived in an airboat, the water was chest-deep and Joseph was clinging to a tree.
Joseph Schneiderwind was transported by ambulance to the Sedgwick County Hospital in Julesburg, Colo., to be checked out and treated for possible hypothermia.
The Big Springs Volunteer Fire Department had received the call for a rescue at 11:13 a.m. Mountain time. Assisting on the rescue call were fire departments from Ogallala and Keystone/Lemoyne, as well as the Lake McConaughy Dive Rescue team.
NEMA stresses that anyone who enters swiftly flowing water risks drowning, regardless of his or her ability to swim. The agency offers the following safety tips:
— Even shallow standing water can be dangerous for small children.
— Vehicles do not provide adequate protection from flood waters, as they may be swept away or break down in moving water.
— Do not drive through flooded areas.
— Do not drive around road barriers, or traffic barricades, as a road or bridge may be washed out.