Boy rescued from quicksand at Washita River

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 11:27 AM CDT
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TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KXII) - A fishing trip turned into a harrowing experience Wednesday night for a father and son from Wapanucka when the 12-year-old boy was caught up in quicksand.

According to the Tishomingo Fire Department, the boy was fishing with his father when he became stuck around 8 p.m.

Firefighters responded to the Washita River near the north end of South McAdams Road.

Tishomingo Fire Department Public Information Officer Danny Walker said it took about 45 minutes to rescue the boy out of the quicksand.

“At one time we had up to three firefighters and the father pulling on the child while we were digging by hand to try to free him,” Walker said. “The rescuers were sinking down in the sand too. We used some driftwood and tree limbs to build a makeshift platform to help keep us from sinking down.”

When firefighters arrived, the boy’s right leg was buried to his knee while his left leg had been freed by his father.

“He was beginning to suffer the effects of hypothermia along with loss of feeling in his leg,” a Facebook post by the Tishomingo Fire Department read.

Walker said aside from mild hypothermia, the boy should be fine.

“Had it been several days earlier, after the rains, then we could have had a totally different situation on our hands,” Walker said.

After being freed from the quicksand, the boy was treated on scene for hypothermia by Johnston County EMS before being transported by private vehicle to the ER for evaluation.

Johnston County Emergency Management director Jason Bryant said quicksand can develop when the river rises and air is trapped underneath.

“When you put your leg, foot, boat trailer or anything into that, when you pull that out it creates a suction,” Bryant said.

He said the Washita River is notorious for sinkholes.

“When the river is up, the edge of the bank behind you can collapse out from underneath you and there’s no visibility here,” Bryant said. “You don’t know which way is up.”

Bryant said if someone gets caught, the best thing to do is to lay on their back and slowly free their legs from the quicksand.

“When you’re thrashing around, what that does is disturbs it more, which kind of works your way down into the sand,” Bryant said.

Bryant said quicksand is still a risk on the Washita River, even in dry conditions.

Firefighters with Tishomingo Fire Department work to extricate a 12 year old male from quicksand after he became stuck...

Posted by Tishomingo Fire Department on Thursday, May 13, 2021

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