Local first responders see a rise in drownings

Missouri

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – At least seven water deaths have reported in the St. Louis area in just the past several weeks.

The most recent victim was identified as a 34-year-old Metro East man. His body was recovered from the Meramec River after 2 days of water rescue searches near Sherman Beach Park in west St. Louis County.

“We want people to wear a personal flotation device at all times when they are in this type of water,” said Metro West Fire Protection District Division Chief Mike Thiemann.

The Eureka Fire Protection District has also been busy responding to water rescue calls.

“It (Meramec River) looks calm on top but there’s snags, there’s undertows, washouts, and everything underneath that can be treacherous,” Division Chief Scott Barthelmass said.

First responders remind anyone looking for summer enjoyment on an area river to wear a flotation device and avoid intoxication.

“There are no lifeguards on the river,” Barthelmass said.

For more information about water safety, visit RedCross.org.

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