RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — As people get ready to take out their boats and go swimming, the Rapid City Fire Department is reminding everyone to be careful during the busy weekend ahead.
In June of 1999, Joshua Haugen lost his life to a jet ski accident on the Pactola Resevoir. About a year later, the Rapid City/Pennington County water rescue team found his body.
“I’m not sure how many people actually realize how dangerous water can be, it’s actually very powerful, very scary. Because my brother didn’t have a life jacket the day he was on a jet ski, he would’ve still been alive,” Cori Ewing, Joshua’s sister, said.
In honor of her brother Joshua, Cori Ewing and her family have started a fundraiser for the water rescue team.
“We want to take the tragedy that our family has experienced and turn it into good,” Ewing said.
Today firefighters are training in Rapid Creek to make sure they’re ready for the next emergency.
“Swift water is kind of like gravity, it doesn’t really discriminate so for us, water is always a presence and with the holiday weekend and school getting out, we do have an influx of individuals that like to come around the creek and we welcome that but of course we want to be doing that safely,” Keith Trojanowski, Captain of Fire Station 3, said.
It’s a message Captain Keith Trojanowski and the Ewing family want everyone to keep in mind this Memorial Day weekend.
“Just good water safety, wear a life vest, be in a buddy system, be in a clear mindset when you’re in or around that,” Trojanowski said.
The Joshua R. Haugen Fundraiser will take place on Saturday, June 5th at Canyon Lake Park in Rapid City from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mountain Time.
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