First Responders Search The River For The Third Time In As Many Weeks

Oskaloosa Firefighters search the banks of the South Skunk River on Saturday afternoon.

Oskaloosa Firefighters search the banks of the South Skunk River on Saturday afternoon.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – A passing motorist spotted an overturned flat bottom boat in the South Skunk River just after 12:30 pm on Saturday afternoon.

Mahaska County Deputy Randy Poe said that resources were then activated to make sure that no one was in the water from the overturned boat.

A short time after that another boat, what appeared to be a kayak, was also spotted in the river.

Oskaloosa and New Sharon Fire Departments responded with boats, as did the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Mahaska County Emergency Management was also called to help provide additional resources while helping to coordinate the effort.

Poe said that the flat bottom boat was recovered north of Sheriff’s Bridge but no individuals have been located.

Emergency personnel was able to speak with the owners of the flat bottom boat and they stated they were unsure as to why the boat was in the water.

The search area covered the river from Highway 63 to Highway 92 along the South Skunk River.

Mahaska County Emergency Manager Jamey Robinson said that if you were to capsize your boat and have exited the water safely to please let authorities know that you are ok and to give them a description of your boat.

While search operations were underway, the Mahaska County 911 Center was extremely busy answering phone calls from a curious public as to what was going on, while also helping to direct emergency responders.

Working in a valley like a river bottom made communications extra difficult, and while a new radio system may help alleviate some of those problems, Robinson says that the cost for full coverage in such areas could prove to be excessive, and may still give first responders some difficulty even if a new system is built.

The search was called off shortly after 3 pm when after searching the river extensively, no one was found.

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Posted by on Jun 23 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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