Child pulled from river by friends | AspenTimes.com

Child pulled from river by friends

Eben Harrell
A child fell into the Roaring Fork River when this snow bridge collapsed beneath him Wednesday near the Cooper Avenue bridge. He was pulled from the river by friends. Aspen Times photo/Mark Fox.
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Aspen’s emergency services personnel breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after a child who fell into the Roaring Fork River was rescued by his friends.A police officer who responded to the incident said it was a close call and, “We’re lucky we aren’t looking for a body downriver.” The officer also hoped the incident highlights the importance of river safety.At about 8:15 a.m. yesterday, a group of three children approximately 6 years old were playing near the Cooper Street bridge outside the Chateau Roaring Fork Condominiums. One child attempted to cross a snow bridge over the river. The snow gave way and he fell in.

“It was an extremely dangerous situation …,” Aspen patrol officer Dan Glidden said. “If he had fallen in, his clothes and parka would have pulled him under and he would have been trapped under the ice.”When the boy fell in, his friend on the bank grabbed him and pulled him onto land with the help of another child.”I felt like I was holding on to him for an hour,” the child reportedly told police.

The Roaring Fork River, which runs through Aspen along the city’s northern limits, is known for its danger and ferocity in spring and summer as snowmelt swells its banks. But Glidden said the river can be just as dangerous in winter.”There’s really no difference between summer and winter,” Glidden said. “The water may look tame in spots but the ice is thin and falling in can be very dangerous.”Glidden said when he arrived on the scene the child was safe and on his way to a “hot bath.”

“Kids are kids. They go exploring and looking around. But they got an education yesterday about river and ice safety, that’s for sure,” Glidden said.Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is eharrell@aspentimes.com


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