Several individuals, including small children, stranded on sandbank in Virgin River

WASHINGTON CITY — Officials were called to a park in Washington City where a group of five individuals was stranded on a sand bank.

According to Washington City Fire Department Capt. Julio Reyes said they were paged for a water rescue just south of the Sullivan Virgin River Soccer Park under the bridge. Initially, teams thought they were looking for four individuals, he said, but upon arriving on scene there were five.

Some members of the group had life vests, and Reyes said it looked like the group might have been sharing inner tubes because there were only two or three. He said the group did have a few small children so “it makes sense that they were sitting on the others’ laps, possibly.”

Reyes said officials encourage people not to be in the river as the currents are hard to judge.

“With these weather conditions we encourage people not to get in the water,” he said. “The water looks very tempting to get into considering how much water is there compared to what we usually get.”

First responders work to rescue five individuals stranded on a sand bank in the Virgin River in Washington, Utah, June 6, 2019 | Photo by Ryann Richardson, St. George News

Reyes said the group was not in the water when crews arrived and was able to get on a sandbank in the middle of the river before teams arrived. The group did the right thing by calling, he said.

“Whenever anybody is in the water, and they are uncomfortable with anything, they should immediately call 911.”

The Department of Natural Resources, the Washington City Police Department, and Washington County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue were also on scene.

“We want to be extra cautious when it comes to these things,” Reyes said.

Two teenagers were present further south of the incident. Reyes said, initially, teams thought those girls were also in distress and activated Intermountain Life Flight to get a better view of the situation. Both girls were found safe and not in distress.

The helicopter also searched the river for other persons possibly in need of rescue.

Parents present on the scene refused medical assessment and no one was transported to any medical facilities from the scene. No citations were issued.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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