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Boaters survive being sucked through Marseilles dam

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2016

According to Conservation police officer,  Sgt. Phil Wire, It’s happened 1 other time at Marseilles dam and  it happened again Wednesday night. An Oak Forest man and a female passenger were sucked into a gate, trapped briefly in a swirling water vortex then miraculously escaped out the other side.

Wire said a boat operated by 55-year old John Yorkman lost power before 7:30pm.  It struck the dam so hard, Yorkman and an unidentified  woman were thrown into the water. Both entered the far north gate, were tossed about in the violent churning of the water, and then, somehow, came out the other side. Wire said, many times humans drown while getting caught up in the churning action referred to as “the Hydraulic”.

Yorkman and the woman went to a hospital.. Their boat received some exterior damage. Yorkman will be cited with violations including operating a water craft under the influence of alcohol.

Wire says the river level is high making for a  fast current.  Recreational boating is strongly discouraged at this time.

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