ASHBURN, VA — The Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center rescued a family who was stranded in a small fishing boat on the edge of the Goose Creek Reservoir Dam Tuesday afternoon.
Crews say a man called 911 around 5:30 p.m. asking for help after the motor failed in family’s boat, causing it to drift to the edge of the 20-ft dam where it stopped. On the boat there were two adults and three small children.
Several rescue crews from surrounding areas were called in to help. When the first unit arrived, they found the small boat teetering “precariously on the edge of the dam.”
First responders say the reservoir’s current made the boat very unstable and to keep the boat from falling over the dam, the family sat in the bow of the boat.
Crew members tried to reach the family using an aerial ladder, but the boat was too far from shore. However, they used the aerial ladder to throw a life jacket to the only adult not wearing a vest.
While crews were getting a life jacket to the other adult on the boat, the other first responders were sent downstream with rescue equipment in case the vessel fell over the dam. Immediately, the water rescue team connected a tow rope to the fishing boat and pulled the family to safety.
The family members were evaluated by Emergency Medical Technicians and did not have any injuries.
“Swift water rescue incidents are among the most dangerous activity we perform,” said Chief Keith Brower with the Loudoun County Fire. “In this case, five lives were saved due to the combined efforts of the men and women of our Fire and Rescue System. I am extremely proud of their efforts.”
The department says it’s important for all recreational boaters to have coast guard approved lifejackets and use them at all times during boating operations.