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September 29, 2020
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UnionActive IAFF Newswire
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Updated: Sep. 28 (20:07)

County Line Road MVA
South Metro Firefighters IAFF LOCAL 2086
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Chatfield State Park Water Rescue/Recovery
Posted On: Aug 01, 2020

At 3:22 p.m. on Friday July 31, 2020, South Metro’s Dive Rescue Team responded to the Catfish Flats area of Chatfield State Park for a swimmer missing in the water. Witnesses on a nearby boat saw 2 people struggling to swim and were able to safely rescue one of them who was not injured. Sadly, the other person went under the water and could not be located. When Local Members from Engine 19 arrived, they began searching from the shore. Divers and paramedics launched from the north boat ramp on Park Ranger vessels and additional divers followed on a South Metro boat. Sonar was used to direct divers and grid searches took place for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes the operation was changed from a rescue to a recovery and a thunderstorm with gusty winds impacted the reservoir. All 4 rescue boats began retreating to the dock when one vessel was capsized. A mayday was declared for 4 emergency personnel in the water. The remaining 3 rescue boats immediately responded and safely rescued everyone. Thankfully no injuries occurred, and recovery operations were resumed as soon as the storm passed. Additional dive team personnel from Local 1309 responded and assisted with under water searches until sunset. Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) and several personnel searched with sonar until 2 a.m. and were unable to locate the missing person. The Dive Team returned on Saturday morning to continue the search and recovery operation.

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