Around 5 p.m. yesterday afternoon, we heard a broadcast out on the radio that two boaters needed assistance on a local river. My boss told me to get ready, and minutes later, the writer and I headed out, unsure of where on the river this rescue was going to take place.
We stumbled upon the scene, and it was something I had never seen before. (And will probably never see again in this town.)
Swift water rescues rarely happen in Mississippi because, well, we don’t really have that much swift water. But the location in this river these two people were stranded had fast-moving water and apparently, that spot is the most dangerous part of the river because of the strong current and the depth of the water.
I made my way over to the edge of the river, moving around the multiple spectators who were all watching the drama unfold, and ended up standing on the rock closest to the rapids where a woman was clinging to rocks as the water rushed past her. A fireman stopped me, stating that if I went any farther, they would have to rescue me out of the chilly water.
I didn’t have much time, as the rescue boat was already in the water, and I prepared myself to photograph the breaking news. There was one problem, though. A tree was in the way.
Solution? Shoot through it.
After they rescued and brought the woman to land, the Swift Water Rescue Team headed downriver to save the man who had also been in the boat. I wasn’t able to see them pull him out of the water, but I did capture the emergency personnel carrying him toward a waiting ambulance.