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A weekend incident serves as a reminder to be cautious on the Missouri River.
On June 17, 2018, the Pierre Fire Department Rescue Squad was dispatched to the causeway to rescue a kayaker who was in the water and had not resurfaced.
According to Pierre Fire Chief Ian Paul, two kayakers were in close proximity to the inlets by the causeway. Both kayakers were dumped from their kayaks and pulled through the inlets by the strong river current. They passed through the culverts that run under the causeway and ended on the Lake Sharpe side.
One kayaker surfaced immediately; the other shortly after. The kayakers, who were both traveling with a youth group from Missouri, escaped serious injury.
“Luckily, there were other members of their group on the Lake Sharpe side who were able to help immediately retrieve the two kayakers,” said Chief Paul. “This situation could have easily ended in tragedy.”
Because of strong currents, the area near the causeway is marked with “Danger” signs. Swimmers, kayakers and boaters should avoid the area.
“This serves as a reminder that although the river is a beautiful area and great place for recreation, you must still be mindful and respect the hazards that come along with it,” said Chief Paul. “We’re fortunate the weekend incident had a positive ending.”
AMR, Pierre Police and the South Dakota Highway Patrol assisted Pierre Rescue with the emergency response.