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Emergency crews stage for possible river rescue

Several people have contacted KRTV to ask about a possible river rescue.
Posted at 5:19 PM, Sep 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-07 23:08:09-04

GREAT FALLS — Several people have contacted KRTV to ask about a possible river rescue.

We were first notified at about 4:25 p.m. on Saturday.

Several people reported seeing numerous emergency crews at and along the Missouri River near Black Eagle Dam.

Angela Coupelin posted on the KRTV Facebook page: "Something going on down by the caboose looks like someone is on a wooden raft in the water?!??"

At this point, it appears that the man on the raft does not want help and does not want to leave the river, but officers are trying to coax him out of the water due to the man's proximity to the dam.

NorthWestern Energy says that recreating near dams can be very dangerous, and highlights several hazardous possibilities:

  • Swirling water and strong underwater currents at powerhouse intakes
  • Sudden unannounced water discharges from auto-operated sluice and trash gates
  • Strong and swift currents over and below spillways
  • Turbulent and sudden discharges from auto-operated generators
  • Slippery surfaces on ledges, waterfalls and structural parts of the dams
  • Strong, deceptive upstream flow in surface waters below the dams and waterfalls
  • Submerged hazards above and below dams

We will update you if we get more information.

(UPDATE, 8:48 pm) As of 8:45 pm, the scene has been cleared, and there are no officers. We do not yet know if the man was taken into custody.