A MABAS water rescue team member searches the tip of midstream island below Wilmington's dam Saturday morning.
Eric Fisher Publisher
Wilmington Fire Protection District personnel and Wilmington Emergency Services and Disaster Agency(ESDA) responded to a report of a male who fell out of a boat in the area of the South Island Park in Wilmington Friday night.
Upon arrival, fire district personnel determined through survivor interviews that there were a total of four people wading in the Kankakee River just below the dam and that there was no boat involved.
Survivors stated to law enforcement officials that one of the subjects that was with the group was pulled into the current and into the dam in the immediate area downstream of the dam.
A Lifestar helicopter, equipped with a large spotlight, was requested and responded to the scene. A cursory search of the area was conducted with negative results. At approximately 12:10 A.M., water rescue team members spotted what they believed to be the victim in the dam approximately 200' from the East bank of the river.
They were unable to reach the victim before he disappeared into the current.
MABAS division 15 Water Rescue Team members resumed the search at 9:30 a.m. Saturday despite heavy rain. An Air Ranger patrol boat was searching the river from the dam downstream. As of 11 a.m. Saturday the victim had not been found.
For more details and additional photos read the July 16 issue of the Free Press Advocate.