Man drowns on Big River; another injured while trying to help


BYRNES MILL– One man has drowned on the Big River. A man trying to save him became part of the frightening situation. While the Big River can look refreshing and fun especially and hot days, if you’re not careful things can downhill quickly. 

Byrnes Mill Police Chief Frank Selvaggio said, “He was reaching for help, he went down a couple times and came back up and was reaching for help.” 

The victim was described as in his 50’s and being from the High Ridge area. He was apparently the victim of the Big River’s under current around 3:30 Friday afternoon.

The chief said, “If it catches your lower extremities it can catch you and drag you down to the bottom. I was told he was not a good swimmer.” 

A number of water rescue crews joined the search. The victim’s future brother-in-law and a bystander tried to save the man.

The police chief said the future brother-in-law became a victim too, “He has been taken to the hospital he went under also got some water in his lungs so there taking in him for precautionary reasons.”

His injuries are not life-threatening injuries. Selvaggio added, “Sometimes the drowning person will pull you under with him and then we have two victims at that point.” 

About two hours after he went under, emergency crews recovered the man’s body. 

Family members were there at the time. 

The victim was not wearing a life vest. 

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