Woman In Chester Swift Water Rescue Speaks Out

CHESTER (KFSM) — First responders and good Samaritans helped save a woman and her son from a flooded creek.

“I definitely wasn't expecting it,” Mary Kintz said.

Kintz and her 8-year-old son were stranded at Clear Creek Sunday (June 4) while trying to find a good fishing spot.

“One of my friends was meeting us down here,” she explained. “He actually got here after us which worked out pretty good.”

It had rained earlier in the day and while Kintz was keeping an eye out for snakes, her son noticed the water rapidly rising. They walked less than a quarter mile to a tree to wait for the water to go down.

“My friend was trying to get to us, but it wasn't possible because of the way the water was moving,” Kintz said.

Multiple first-responders including the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, the District 3 Fire Department and Mountainburg Police responded to rescue them.

A man named Tommy Farris was also there at the time who’s believed to have some swift water rescue background. Farris used his kayak to take life jackets and a rope bag to Kintz and her son to bring them to safety.

“The scariest part was honestly when they hooked the vest to him and I had to let go of him,” Kintz said.

There are several creeks that meet where they were, which is why police say the water in that area can rapidly rise in a matter of minutes.

“We'd like people to keep in mind don't put yourself in that situation,” Mountainburg Police Officer Bobby Dean said. “Pay attention to the weather. Pay attention to the creek levels.”

Dean is also a Fort Smith fire truck operator and a swift water rescue technician. He said to keep in mind water rises quickly. It only takes six inches of water to sweep a person off his or her feet. Electric lines can easily get washed out into flood waters as well.