Water rescue of father and child leads to reminder of unsafe water conditions 

BOWLING GREEN, KY. – As a father and son clung to a piece of debris in the high waters of Drakes Creek near Romanza Johnson Park, minutes meant the difference between life and death early Sunday afternoon.

The Warren County Technical Rescue Team along with Warren County Emergency Management responded to the park at 12:16 p.m after learning that a man and child had capsized in a kayak. Responders quickly launched a rescue boat, reached the man and his child and pulled them onto the boat, said Stephen Harmon, deputy Director of Warren County Emergency Management.

“This was an instance where a couple of minutes could have been life or death,” Harmon said. “They were holding on with their fingers when our rescuers got there.

“It was a serious and dangerous situation not only for them but also for the dozen emergency responders,” he said.
Once the father and son were safely on land, rescuers then raced to Phil Moore Park to ensure that the man’s wife and dog, in another kayak, were not also in distress. They were both still in their kayak and were taken to be reunited with family.

The red warning flags indicating unsafe water conditions were flying near boat launches along Drakes Creek, Harmon said.

“We want to encourage the public to take the notification from the flag system seriously,” Harmon said.

There are also signs posted along the water ways that explain that life vests are required to be worn, he said.

Emergency responders turned away other kayakers on the scene who also ignored the red flags and wanted to launch their kayaks, Harmon said.
Due to recent rains, Drakes Creek is swollen and unsafe for canoers and kayakers.

“We want to recognize the members of the technical rescue team that made this outcome a positive one,” Harmon said.