Ark-La-Tex In-Depth: Red River Risks - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Ark-La-Tex In-Depth: Red River Risks

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Stretching across four states, the Red River is the second-largest river basin in the Southern Great plains.
It's not only massive, but it's fast moving under currents can become extremely dangerous, especially when someone falls into the water.
Rescue crews often put themselves in harms way just looking for victims of the big Red.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are still searching the river for someone who fell into the water in June.   
Authorities say a woman, her father and boyfriend were out fishing and when they tried to anchor their boat it overturned.
The woman was later rescued by a passing boater, but the other two men were no where to be found.

"The Red River is really one of the harder rivers to deal with on a search because of the moving sand," said Captain Jackie Runion, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.  
The woman's father was found several days later about 20 miles down from where he went into the water.
The search continues for the other man.

"We're not going to schedule boats everyday right now, but we're not going to give up," said Runion.
Captain Runion says one of the biggest challenges in any search is the river's dangerous curves and murky bottoms.
He says even when the Red River is at a normal level, it's still constantly changing making search efforts even more difficult.

"The problem with the red is, you never know it. It changes depths. The river bed changes at different times, when there's a rise all the sand gets pushed around and that makes for alot of the current," explained Runion.

He says debris or flooded waters can also hindred their search efforts.
In some cases, they're not able to bring families closure.

"I can remember maybe 20 years ago, there were some youngsters that were lost in the river and never found," said Runion. 
He says the Red River can many times be too treacherous even for rescue crews.
In the Springtime, Runion says the water is often too high to drag.
They depend on boats to try and navigate the waters and planes to search the river banks.

"It can get pretty dangerous especially trying to operate a drag in that kind of current, you can get pulled out of the boat or anything can happen, so we're real careful," said Runion.
Captain Runion says if you fall in the river, don't try and swim against the current.
He says you're more likely to make it to safety if you don't panick.
Instead, move with the current which will eventually lead you to the river bank.

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