Family Rescued After Being Stranded In Oklahoma River In OKC

Monday, July 8th 2013, 5:47 pm
By: News 9

Emergency crews helped rescue a family who became stranded in the Oklahoma River in southeast Oklahoma City Monday afternoon. 

Bob Mills Sky News 9 HD was above the scene as fire crews helped rescue a family that was nearly swept away in the Oklahoma River.

Larry Ely says a fun day of fishing with his grandkids here at the Oklahoma River turned into one of the most frightening moments of his life, when the dam opened.

A few cuts and scrapes on his legs and feet, but Ely is walking away from a near-death experience.

Ely was fishing with two of his granddaughters and their friend when he says the dam on the Oklahoma River near I-40 and Eastern opened at about 4 p.m. Monday, with no alarm to warn them.

"When I first went under the water, I couldn't get back up and I finally got back up, and I sat on the rocks and I got out all right," Ely said.

Ely's daughter got the call from her niece and rushed over and told emergency crews where to locate her family.

Passerby Terry Hypes saw the whole thing. Hypes grabbed a rope and a stick and helped pull Ely and the young man with him to safety.

"The dam is open and there's an old man and this kid standing there in the water on the wall, and I'm like there's no way they're going to get back, they're stranded, and about the same time I said that, the old man went over," Hypes said.

Ely says he will be fine and thankful his granddaughters were far enough away to not get swept in the water.

This is one of three dams along the Oklahoma River where a light and a horn are supposed to go off when the dam lowers.

A supervisor with Oklahoma City Public works says the dams are tested weekly and the alarm is normally loud.

The city's sending a crew to inspect the alarm in the morning.