After double water rescue, parks department urges safety at Falls Park

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You can look, but don’t get too close. That’s the safety warning the Sioux Falls Parks Department has after a double water rescue at Falls Park.

A father and son are okay, after the 14-year-old fell into the water. Police say the father went in after him, and the current pulled both under water. The boy swam to shore, and someone else helped get the dad out. As we’ve seen, this could’ve been worse. The last time someone died at Falls Park was in the spring of 2018, when a five-year-old fell in. Recently, the park added a new safety feature… and I wanted to know if we’ll be seeing any more.

There’s a lot to see at Falls Park, but Stormi Schroder mainly gets a glimpse of her childhood there.

“Visiting when I was younger was always just a highlight,” Schroder said.

Schroder and her fiancé paid the park a visit today, but from a safe distance.

“I see people get a lot closer than I think they should,” Schroder said.

It’s not a crime to get on the rocks like these people are doing, but getting too close can lead to dangerous situations and even death.

“We do have signs up to talk about the turbulent waters, the slippery rocks, and the supervision of your children,” Kelby Mieras, parks operations manager for the City of Sioux Falls, said.

The father and son who went into the water this past weekend escaped without serious injuries.

“Definitely good to get the outcome we had,” Mieras said.

Mieras hopes the incident encourages others to be safe. One new protection you’ll find is this lower viewing platform the park opened about a week ago. The father and son didn’t go in in this exact area, but it is near an area where others have fallen in.

Mieras says the parks department takes safety down here seriously, but even with this last weekend’s incident, you won’t be seeing any drastic changes down here in the near future.

“You can’t build a viewing platform for every place where people view the Falls,” Mieras said.

“I think that completely fencing everything in would make some of the views obstructed, which would be kind of a bummer coming to see and visit,” Schroder said.

That’s why Schroder wants everyone to be safe, so they leave with only good memories of Falls Park.

“Yes, you can enjoy it, but if you push the limits too far, obviously things can turn very bad quickly,” Schroder said.

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