HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) – As monsoon season kicks off in Southern Utah, Washington Co. Search and Rescue officials are looking for two full-time deputies after seeing 170 rescues last year and only having volunteers on staff.
There have already been four water-related rescues this summer and officials only expect that number to go up.
According to Sergeant Darrell Cashin, just six inches of quick-moving water can sweep you off your feet. Swift-water rescue usually involves two or three people saving one victim, with ropes while wearing helmets, a life vest, and a throw bag.
Sgt. Cashin says if you do get caught in water, it’s best to try and find something stable to hold onto, for as long as you can.
“if you get broken loose, and you’re floating down, always do it feet down river, so you’re on your back and your feet are down river legs slightly bent, you do not want to stand up in water, you can not feel the bottom, you will get entangled or you will get a foot entrapment and it will push you over and drown you,” he says.
Crews say flash flood situations are one of the most challenging due to debris and quick-moving water.
“A lot of people when we started the swift water team go, ‘why do you have a swift water team in the desert?’ and if you’ve ever been down here during monsoon season or seen a flash flood, or seen the slot canyons, you’ll understand why we have a team,” says Cashin.
With only volunteers on staff, officials say with new deputies, they will have someone for a rescue, no matter the time of day.