Tulsa Firefighters Rescue Fisherman From Arkansas River

Monday, July 17th 2017, 7:19 pm
By: News On 6

It was a close call for a fisherman Monday evening when he got trapped on the Arkansas River off of Riverside.

Tulsa firefighters quickly responded and rescued Josh Workman from the river. Workman says he and his fishing buddy, his dog, lost track of time.

"I was just, I was like, right over here between these rocks."

He and his dog were standing on a sandbar all afternoon, just west of the pedestrian bridge off Riverside, when he realized the water had gotten too high. They were trapped.

"You just got to watch out, and I wasn't watching," he said.

Workman saw a group of boys on the bridge and called out to them.

"He was like, 'I'm stuck, call 911,'" said Christian Chavez, one of those boys.

Chavez, 16, and his friends quickly called for help. And firefighters got there almost immediately.

Tulsa Fire Captain Wesley Duckett said, "What people don't realize is, when the water starts coming up, it comes up gradually but it does catch you by surprise."

Captain Duckett and his crew perform these water rescues all the time, especially this time of year. He says people should avoid fishing *in the river and instead fish from the shore.

Even if the dam is closed and the water is shallow, he says, it's still dangerous -- the river's current is fast... and the rocks are slippery.

"If they could do it from the bank it would be much better," Duckett said. "Getting out there on the water, you're always taking a risk, especially when the water comes up and it's fast - it's a big risk."

Chavez said, "I mean, if no one was here, anything else could have happened to him. Saved someone's life, I guess."

For a list of rules on fishing in the Arkansas River, visit www.riverparks.org/explore-river-parks/frequently-asked-questions.