Children rescued from fast moving creek

Fun time turns into emergency situation
Jul. 03, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

What began as a playful afternoon at Brackett Creek in Forest City Tuesday quickly turned into an emergency rescue for two children in a fast flowing creek.

The children, Nick Gossett, 11, and Daniel Searcy, 14, were rescued by Forest City firefighters from the creek off Greenfield Drive.

Nick's father, Tim Gossett, who jumped into the creek to rescue his Nick, was taken to Rutherford Regional Medical Center for evaluation.

Nick was clinging to a tree branch in the middle of the creek when his father arrived at the scene from their nearby home. Tim jumped in the creek but the swiftness of the water prevented him from getting to Nick.

He was able to make it to the bank and took in a lot of water. The creek had risen several feet from a downpour of rain at about 12:30 p.m.

Rescue personnel were dispatched at 2:01 p.m. and by 2:28 p.m. everyone was out of the creek.

When first responders arrived, the father and others had gotten to the sides of the creek, but Nick and Daniel were still in the water.

Forest City Assistant Fire Chief Ferrell Hamrick said when he got to the scene, it looked like Daniel was on the bank across the creek. 

"But when we got to him, there was four or five feet of water behind him," Hamrick said.

"This could have been terrible," Hamrick said.

He said Nick was clinging to a branch when he arrived on the scene. "You could barely see the branch sticking up out of the water," Hamrick said.

 "With the force of the water pulling you away, hitting your body and your body fighting the water currents, it is difficult. He (Nick) used a lot of strength," Hamrick said.

Hamrick said Tim Gossett was able to make it back to the bank to safety. 

"People don't realize the force the water carries and sometimes when someone gets in trouble, you'll have two or three more victims in trouble," Hamrick said.

Before 2 p.m. on Tuesday several of the Greenfield neighborhood children gathered at the creek to swim but were unaware of rapid flow of the creek and its depth after more than three inches of water fell on Tuesday.

The children are accustomed to playing and swimming in the creek and had gone down for a swim, knowing it would be a little deeper than usual but had no idea of the swiftness, said a friend, Shayhine Henderson, 11, 

"It was moving fast," Shayhine said. He attempted to rescue Nick, but he had to get to safety himself.

When rescue workers arrived Shayhine was on the ground crying, afraid for his friends still in the water. 

"We're all family" said Janie Searcy, Daniel's mother.  "Thank God it turned out last good as it did."

Hamrick said the training firefighters undergo on a regular basis is what prepares them for such situations.

"You can't go out and be trained . . .you have to be trained on these things," Hamrick said.