Chickamauga creek rescue difficult because of age of victims
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
A Chattanooga neighborhood is still in shock after learning the fate of two 11 year-old boys.
The bodies of Kentory Ray and Thomas Ruffin were pulled from the Chickamauga creek Monday, after a search involving more than 90 people.
Clay Ingle, with Hamilton County STARS says it started out as innocent fun.
"They weren't doing anything wrong, they were just having fun," said Ingle.
However, when a call came in to Hamilton County STARS, the fun quickly fled.
"The call came in initially, they were lost. Then swift water, so it became a swift water event. And then a drowning event," said Ingle.
Ingle, says they deal with swift water rescues often, but this one was different.
"We're always concerned for people we're trying to rescue or save, but when they're young, it does become more intense for all of us," said Ingle.
Ingle says they used the same rescue tactics they would use on any case, to find the missing boys.
"It was swift water. I put 4 swift water technicians in thereand they had a hard time swimming," said Ingle.
He says they had to focus on the goal, to find Thomas and Kentory and not let emotions get in the way.
"You have to put that to the side and get done what needs to be done. You don't have to worry about ‘well I've got a 12 year old at home.' You've got to worry about ‘I've got a 12 year old I need to find'," said Ingle.
Ingle says thatfocus is what led to their find.
"We're glad we could bring closure to the family. We've seen these calls drag on for days, weeks. The quicker we can bring it to closure for the family, even though it wasn't the outcome we were wanting, at least the outcome was such that they can have closure," said Ingle.
Ingle says this is a good reminder to the public to be extremely careful when around swift water.
He says it may look safe, but if deep and quick enough, could be too strong for even Olympic swimmers.