Dramatic rescue saves teen in creek

July 24, 2008 8:39:09 PM PDT
A Wilmington teen is lucky to be alive after being rescued from Brandywine Creek. Rescuers were called to the Alapocas Run Park at 3:10 p.m., to a report of a drowning in the Brandywine Creek.

The 50-degree waters swelled from the storm were too potent for the teen and at times even too much for the crew trying to rescue him. The teen and some friends were jumping rocks near the Dupont Experimental Station. He was swept downs stream and his friends called for help. The teen held on to a rock but the New Castle County's Surface Water Rescue Team's first attempt to save him with ropes failed.

"The water is very deceiving, it's very powerful and it can definitely cause a lot of harm," Matthew Netsch of the New Castle County Special Operations said.

As the teen struggled to keep his head above the raging waters, rescue technician Chris Doyle knew the situation had become desperate. He and his partner had to go in the water themselves to save the teen.

"The rope that we were trying to pull him with got caught around a rock so myself and another rescuer had to go in and that's definitely a last resort?It's hard to describe the force but a couple of times I had to actually lock my foot into rocks so I would not go down the river myself," Chris Doyle, water team rescue technician, said.

With the waters moving at 40 miles per hour, Doyle's partner was not as fortunate; he got pulled downstream as well. Within the hour, though, everyone was on dry land. The teen was taken to the hospital and treated for mild hypothermia and some cuts and bruises.

Both of the rescuers Action News talked to had a warning for others - stay away from these creeks and rivers. After the intense storms we had the past few days, they are particularly dangerous.

The water rescue team agreed that the teen caught in the waters today was extremely lucky.