Swiftwater Rescue – 18 July 2020

**** For Immediate Release ****

On July 18, 2020 at 3:00 PM, Longshop McCoy Fire Rescue was dispatched to a behavioral emergency at 2591 Big Falls Road, Blacksburg. Rescue personnel contacted the victim on the bank of the New River approximately 3/8 of a mile upstream from the New River Junction office. The victim was confrontational with rescue personnel and entered the water of her own accord at approximately 3:10 PM. One of the department’s rescue boats was deployed from New River Junction at 3:25 PM with a boat operator, two swiftwater technicians, and a deputy from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. The victim was rescued from the New River’s western edge at 3:39 PM, just above McCoy Falls (Big Falls). The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office transported the victim to LewisGale Hospital Montgomery for evaluation and treatment. The victim was in the 82 degree water for approximately 29 minutes and traveled over 3/4 mile with the river.

This rescue was successful largely due to a coordinated effort from multiple organizations:

  • New River Junction
  • The New River Valley 911 Center
  • Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

Longshop McCoy Fire Rescue provides public safety services to the northwestern part of Montgomery County, including swiftwater rescue for a large portion of the New River. Swiftwater personnel routinely train for a variety of emergencies, including rescue of a combative victim from the water. Personnel involved in this rescue were C.J. Sherman, Boat Operator; Wayne Akers, Swiftwater Technician; and Ronnie Turpin, Swiftwater Technician. Additional members provided shoreline support for the incident.  This was our agency’s sixth response to a water-related incident this year.  Longshop McCoy Fire Rescue would like to remind everyone to be safe as you enjoy the New River as you swim, boat, tube, fish and kayak. Always wear an approved personal flotation device on the water.

For Additional Information, contact:

Steve Shelor, Rescue Chief
[email protected]