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Man in critical condition after falling into river in Winfield

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:18 PM CDT
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WINFIELD, Kan. (KWCH) - A man is in critical condition after slipping and falling into the Tunnel Mill Dam in Winfield.

The man was fishing near the dam when he fell in around 10:30 a.m.

The Winfield EMS Coordinator said the man was underwater for awhile and then resurfaced.

Charlie Lameul, who has lived in Winfield for over 20 years said the incident was shocking.

“I’ve never heard or seen anything like that,” said Lameul. “So it was touching.”

Lameul said he arrived to the dam shortly after the accident happened.

“It was kind of chaotic,” said Lameul. “They brought him through there and put him in the ambulance, and then they took him to the hospital.”

Lameul said the dam is a popular community spot.

“This is a very nice place for the community, it’s technically called ‘the office’” said Lameul. “People come and fish and family time, to look at the river. It’s kind of like a spiritual oasis.”

Harold Walker grew up in the area.

Over the past years, I don’t know what years they were, they’ve been two or three drownings down here.” Said Walker.

He said he even fell into the dam before.

“You can’t fight it,” said Walker. “You just have to let it spit you out. I know, I’ve been down there before.”

Fire and EMS Coordinator, Brad Klein said they want to remind everyone to be safe and take safety precautions when out near the water this summer.

“It’s summer so enjoy the weather,” said Klein. “But make sure you’re taking those proper steps. Make sure you’re properly hydrated, you have your sunscreen, you don’t get sunburnt, wear your life jacket any time you’re around the water.”

Klein said to pay extra attention when you’re near a low-head dam

“Whatever comes over the top of those dams it kind of creates a current underneath it,” said Klein. “You’ll see a loop underneath there, so when people do go underneath there, it’s kind of hard for themselves and their body to get out of there, because the current just keeps sucking them in and it’s very dangerous at those places.”

The man was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

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