Trooper and Off-Duty Firefighter Rescue 10-Year-Old Boy Swept Away in Dam’s Current

by Amy Myers

Last month, the Alpena County police department received a call about a young boy caught in the current of Michigan’s Four Mile Dam and in need of rescue. With the help of an off-duty firefighter, police were able to help the 10-year-old out of the water and get him medical treatment.

The call came in on August 11 at around 5:40 p.m. Initially, the caller relayed the message about a swimmer in distress, but it wasn’t clear that it was a child until authorities arrived on the scene. According to Michigan State Police, one state trooper retrieved a ResQ Disc and personal flotation device (PFD) from their vehicle and threw the disc to the boy.

Meanwhile, off-duty Wilson Township Firefighter Christopher Kinsey put on the PFD and swam out to the boy who was clinging to the part of the structure that ran underneath a building. Thankfully, Kinsey was able to rescue the 10-year-old and bring him to the shore.

Body Cam Footage Shows Moments Before Firefighter Rescues 10-Year-Old Boy

The bodycam footage from the state trooper showed him scrambling to the water before instructing the young boy to wrap the safety disc around him. All the while, an adult stood beside the trooper. Michigan State Police has not identified if this person was a parent or guardian of the stranded boy. Towards the end of the clip, you can see Kinsey swimming upstream towards the boy.

Watch the footage here.

Once on dry land, the boy received a medical evaluation from EMS on site. They deemed him well enough to go home with his family.

Four Mile Dam is a part of the Thunder Bay River system, located off of Long Rapids Road. In August, air temperatures for the region range from 55 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit while water temperatures range from 58 to 78 degrees. At maximum water levels, the dam can move 27,000 cubic square feet per second.

Following the incident, Michigan State Police reminded locals to only swim in designated areas and to keep close watch of any children near the edge of a body of water.

Texas Boat Nearly Falls off Dam Before Rescue Team Arrives

Last summer, a similar incident occurred when a group of boaters required a rescue team of their own when they almost fell off the side of the dam’s waterfall.

Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services dispatched emergency crews to the dam where a boat had wandered dangerously close to the edge.

Thankfully, though, responding crews were able to pull all group members off of the vessel and to safety.

According to the Austin Police Department, the incident was avoidable.

“They approached the dam, weren’t paying attention, they were talking to each other,” said Officer Brad Smith.

 “Luckily, we were on patrol on Lady Bird in a boat going up and down. We were by the Texas rowing dock when the call came out,” he continued. “So, we were able to zip right there when the call came out and help with the recovery.”