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SPICEWOOD — An outing at the Narrows Recreation Area in Spicewood turned into a rescue operation after an 11-year-old girl became stranded on a rock surrounded by rising water on the Colorado River, according to emergency officials.

The incident happened about 3 p.m. March 14 on an arm of the waterway in Burnet County between Max Starcke Dam and Lake Travis.

A group of young people was at the recreation area with their families when the threat of fast-moving and rising water became imminent, according to Marble Falls Volunteer Fire Department Chief Michael Phillips.

“They were all beach walking and playing. They had their dogs, and they were having a good time,” Phillips said. “When the water rose, they couldn’t make their way back.”

Four others made their way to the opposite shoreline.

“One of the little girls stayed on the rock, and the water level rose,” Phillips said.

Emergency crews arrived after receiving a 911 call for help.

“We waded into the water, drifted down to the rock, put a life vest on the little girl, and we swung her into the banks and picked her up,” he said of the rescue, which took about 30 minutes once they reached the child.

Phillips explained that periodic releases from Max Starcke Dam results in the sudden rise of water. In the location of the rescue, sirens and alerts near the dam are too far to be heard.

“We’re pretty far away from the dam in Marble Falls — farther downstream approximately nine miles — so you don’t know that,” he said. “We don’t do this very often, but it’s a high risk when the water is swift enough.”

No injuries were reported, and all the youngster were taken upstream to reunite with their families, Phillips said.

Residents can receive notifications from the Lower Colorado River Authority about floodgate water releases by email, text or phone call. Click here to sign up.

1 thought on “11-year-old rescued in swift water at Narrows Recreation Area

  1. Perhaps, LCRA officials should consider some wireless activated sirens at the most narrow spots to avoid this occurring with hikers, waders, kayakers, picnickers and others. Would not be a terribly expensive cost. The loss of ANY life because of lack of attention to the Max Starcke Dame water release would be TRAGIC. Sure hope LCRA execs and managers are reading and heeding this excellent newspaper reporting. IF NOT, send it direct to them with my comment. I have lake front, well, about four years ago, I had lake front property. I now have riverview property!!

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