KENT, Ohio — The Kent Fire Department is urging the public to use caution should anyone choose to swim in local rivers after crews had to rescue another person from turbulent water Thursday night.
There have been more than 20 water rescues in Kent so far in 2019, according to fire officials.
In the most recent incident, a woman was swimming south of the Main Street bridge when the current swept her into the rapids, authorities said. She managed to grab a tree branch and haul herself onto a small island but had to be rescued by first responders.
Fire officials said the record number of rescues in the Kent area has required crews to improvise techniques and equipment to get people safely out of the water. Firefighters created special equipment bags from gear they already had at the station and started practicing with it.
“This planning and practice paid off Thursday night in the dark,” fire officials said.
The fire department said it wants people to have fun on the water but do so so in a safe manner.
“We continue to ask everyone to enjoy our river, but please do it safely! Moving water is powerful, relentless but predictable! Respect the river and understand your capabilities. And ALWAYS wear a life jacket,” stated the Kent Fire Department.