It started off with a silly prank and it nearly caused the life of a teenager from Clarksburg, United States. Thankfully, he was found alive and walking along the street where he lives. So how exactly did a prank lead to him swimming across the West Fork River on a Friday night?
Well, the teenager was initially with two of his friends and they were hanging out along the river near Clarksburg Country Club. It was a Friday at about 8:30pm when the young man thought that his friends had abandoned him. The incident arose when he noticed his friends returned back in their vehicle and pretended to leave without him. He was not aware that it was just a prank, so he got frustrated and struck a mailbox out of anger. This prompted the owner of the mailbox to yell at him.
According to Steve Johnson, Harrison Sheriff’s Chief Deputy, “He panicked and jumped in the river”. The river, West Ford, is about 60 to 70 yards (54 to 64 meters) wide in the area in which the teenager jumped into. Furthermore, the depth of the river ranges from 5 to 10 feet (1.52 to 3.05 meters), which is considered to be significantly deep. “He’s lucky,” stated the Sheriff on the teenager’s decision to leap into the pool and swim across.
When the teenager’s friends and homeowner did not see him reach the shore on the other side, they immediately dialed 911 for help. Mount Clare, Nutter Fort and West Milford firefighters as well as Harrison EMS arrived and they searched the river in boats. They were only able to find the shoes worn by the teenager. It was only until 11pm later that a Clarksburg police discovered the teenager walking somewhere on Vermont Avenue in his stocking feet. Thankfully, he was safe and sound. For the full story, do check it out here.
Happy Fish Swim School would like to remind all swimmers not to commit such an act, especially when it comes to the open waters. Firstly, there are no lifeguards around to keep a lookout for you. Secondly, it is late at night and one would probably end up swimming in darkness. Thirdly, it is not possible to gauge the depth of the water. In other words, you are actually threading in unknown waters. This might be an issue for individuals who aren’t armed with proper swimming skills. Hence, it is essential to equip yourself with the right techniques. For more details, do check our website.