The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 16, 2014

Water requires extra caution

OTTUMWA — Two area drowning deaths in two weeks have authorities focused on the topic of water safety.

The Ottumwa Fire Department's Master Firefighter Bill Keith has trained with watercraft and performed multiple river rescues. This week, he said, he was sharing tips in general terms. He, like other officials talking to the Courier, said they were not referring to either of the local tragedies or recent accidents around the state.

"The biggest thing to do for safety is to wear a life jacket on the water," Keith said.

It may not seem like fun, but it allows fun because it can reduce anxiety over drowning.

"An approved floatation device," he said. "That's how you know you're going to float."

In many situations, children must have them. But adults should remember how fast the center of a river moves — and how fast you can get there, Keith said. Swimming close to shore? That can change.

"In 30 seconds, you can be in the middle of the river," Keith said, "caught in the main channel, and suddenly you're heading downriver."

Yes, pointed out Wapello County Sheriff Mark Miller, people are generally boyant.

"It's because of the lungs, air in the lungs," he said. "If you have the breath knocked out of you [by, for example] hitting the water, you are not going to float."

Like the OFD, the sheriff's office maintains a multi-purpose boat. One of the effective devices they use, both rescuers said, can also be used on your boat.

"You must have a throwable floatation device," said Keith. "You can have six or eight life jackets on the boat. [But] it's often the [throwable ring with rope] that will be the difference between life and death."

"You've got to have respect for that water," said Miller. "Have people around watching out for one another."

Text Only
Local News
  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mediacom: Rural cable consumers and companies mistreated OTTUMWA --- You may want to add just a racing channel, a court channel or a nature channel to your cable line up. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to buy a "bundle," which, ironically, is what it will cost you here in Wapello County. That's accord

    July 26, 2014

  • Calendar Groups wanting to be included in the Calendar must submit the item every time the group meets, at least three days in advance of the meeting.Send information to Calendar, Newsroom, Ottumwa Courier, 213 E. Second St., Ottumwa 52501 or send email to ne

    July 26, 2014

  • Alternate juror could not have convicted Techel based on evidence DAVENPORT — An alternate juror who was dismissed before Seth Techel, 23, of Agency was convicted of killing his wife and the non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy says the verdict could have been different if she had been in deliberations.D

    July 25, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Resolution — Techel verdict reached

    DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today. The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a h

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Overcome testing fear, get a good job OTTUMWA — It's not who you know, it's what you know. That's what City leaders say about getting a good paying job in Ottumwa. "It seems like in the last year we've had a real reduction in the number of individuals who've applied," said Joni Keith, hu

    July 25, 2014

  • Water Pollution Control Facility gets OK to upgrade OTTUMWA — An emergency Ottumwa City Council meeting resulted in spending $140,583 for the Water Pollution Control Facility. Friday afternoon, council members listened intently as Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility Superintendent Kam Reeves told

    July 25, 2014

  • Quincy Ave. project starts Aug. 4 OTTUMWA — Updates on the Quincy Avenue project was given to residents and businesses residing between Albia Road and Hwy. 34 on Thursday night at Ottumwa City Hall. About a dozen people attended the meeting where City Engineer Dan Sturm gave an updat

    July 25, 2014

  • Silence continues on fatal shooting OTTUMWA — Law enforcement is exercising its right to remain silent about a shooting death that occurred south of town this week. The Wapello County Sheriff's Office, which had responded to the shooting, said most information on the case would now com

    July 25, 2014

  • 0726 OTT cedar creek Gone in a flash

    BLOOMFIELD — Bob Parker got about as close to lightning as you can Friday morning, and came out of it without injury. A line of thunderstorms started moving through southeast Iowa in the early morning hours. Parker was heading to work at about 7 a.m.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook