After two teens were stranded in the Elkhart River, crews are encouraging families to beware

NOW: After two teens were stranded in the Elkhart River, crews are encouraging families to beware


Water levels in the Elkhart River are reaching new highs. The river is so high that local fire departments are now urging Michiana families to be careful when it comes to getting in the water.

The warning comes after two teens, on kayaks, became stranded Monday.

The first call came in just after 11:30 a.m. on Memorial Day, but those individuals were able to get out of the water safety.

The second call, coming in closer to 3 in the afternoon, brought seven fire fighters from Concord Fire and three from Baugo Township Fire here to the Elkhart River.

A couple of juvenile kids about 12 years old, they were in kayaks and they were supposed to be in the retention pond and they said the currents took them out of that pond and put them in the Elkhart river,” says Phil Sumpter, the Deputy Fire Chief at Concord Fire Department.

Sumpter says the two teens couldn’t stand a chance against the currents at the Elkhart River.

The currents were just too strong for them and pushed them up into some trees,” says Chief Sumpter.

He adds if it wasn’t for someone doing some yard work outside, the teens could’ve been stranded for hours. “They were young kids, they were scared, they couldn’t get a hold of anybody and they didn’t know if anyone had heard them.”

Sumpter tells ABC57 as soon as they got the second water rescue call on Monday, they called Baugo Township Fire for assistance.

“They were concerned because usually you can see some of the trees and stuff sticking out the water, but with the water being higher some of those trees covered makes it more dangerous,” says Chief Sumpter.   

According to Sumpter’s estimate the water is about four feet higher than it is normally and even encourages Michiana families to avoid getting in. “I’d definitely stay out of it right now. It’s not something, especially if you’re not experienced.”

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