Authorities searching for 18-month-old swept away in Tallapoosa - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Authorities searching for 18-month-old swept away in Tallapoosa River

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
TALLASSEE, AL (WSFA) -

There is an ongoing search for an 18-month-old male who was swept away on the Tallapoosa River, according to Tallassee Fire Dept. Assistant Chief David Rogers.

According to Rogers, the department responded to a call around approximately 1:45 p.m. of a missing swimmer involving a party of five off of Highway 229.

"Upon the Tallasee Fire Department's arrival we found that a party of five had been swimming down at the AES boat ramp," Rogers said. "One of them had gotten separated from his party, had slipped, and we began rescue operations attempting to locate the missing swimmer."

Rogers says the party attempted to get to shore but the rising waters caused the 18-month-old to slip back into the water and was swept away.

Rogers encouraged the use of safety items while out on the water, and simply being sure to leave behind a way for family members to get in touch with you.

"I do want to encourage the use of life jackets in and around especially moving bodies of water; and also working with your family and friends to create contact information to be able to reach out and let them know that you're okay, or that you;re having problems. That was one of the problems that we're having today, is contacting the family," Rogers said.

Afterward, Rogers re-iterated that no matter how safe you think you are, wearing a life jacket can always be handy.

"A two-foot current of water two-foot deep moving at the rate that it was down here on the river will literally move a car," said Rogers. "It's one of those things that the weathermen always tell you, 'Turn around, don't drown,' same thing applies when you're swimming around moving bodies of water. You need to have that life jacket on to protect yourself and your family."

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Cpl. Jess Thornton says that ALEA is assisting with a helicopter but the Tallassee Fire Dept. is the lead in the investigation.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly