Arnolds Park/Okoboji Fire and Rescue Dive Team assist with search for victims at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The Arnolds Park/Okoboji Fire and Rescue Dive Team responded to a mutual aid request from the Minnehaha County South Dakota Emergency Management and dive team and Sioux Falls Fire and Rescue to aid in looking for the remaining victim missing after a 6 year old Garrett Wallace fell into the Big Sioux River at Falls Park around 6:00pm on Thursday March 14. Garrett was able to get out of the river and is fine however his sister Madison ,16, and a bystander 28 year old Lyle Eagletail jumped in to assist Garrett and both drown in their attempts to save him. Madison’s body was recovered Friday March 15, by officials on scene and a request was made for Divers from Pierre and Arnolds Park/Okoboji to assist with the search for Lyle Eagletail starting at 8:00AM on Saturday the 16th. 5 Divers and 4 support staff departed from Okoboji at 5:30AM to Falls Park in Sioux Falls. Upon arrival they were informed of the details of the search efforts thus far and given an assigned area of the Big Sioux River to search for the victim. The team remained on scene until Lyle’s body was located around 2 P.M. on the Saturday the 16th. Dive Captain Mark Petersen commented that “We felt we needed to respond to help the people of Minnehaha County because they came to our aid in 2004 when we were looking for victims on West Lake Okoboji, with a specialty team of divers we need to help each other out because there is always a chance that we will need their assistance in the future.” The team returned to the area by 5:30PM satisfied that they were able to help yet another family be able to see and grieve their loved one instead of wondering where they are.
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Captain Mark Petersen (Dive Team Captain Arnolds Park/Okoboji Fire and Rescue)