A group of teenagers learned a lesson in water safety after a log rolled onto the foot of one boy, trapping him on the banks of the Bosque River for nearly an hour, according to Stephenville Fire Chief Jimmy Chew.
While playing in the river near the Stephenville Soccer Complex Sunday afternoon, the boy sat on a log which rolled on top of his foot. The log was two feet in diameter and 30-35 feet long, and fell across a large concrete dam and the bank.
"It turned into quite the operation," Chew said. "There was nothing life threatening, but there was quite a bit of pain."
Firefighters arrived on foot after rescue vehicles couldn't navigate close to the scene. Heavy duty air bags - typically used to lift cars and trucks - were inflated, lifting the log from the boy's foot.
"To my knowledge, this was the first time air bags have been used to lift a tree," Chew said. "This incident was unusual for us. Our guys did a great job and used a lot of ingenuity to rescue the teenager."
It took firefighters almost an hour to free the teen from the time they were dispatched. The boy was transported to Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth by air ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.
The incident could have been far worse.
"There is more water in the Bosque than people give it credit for and debris in the river is not stable. You must be careful and use caution while enjoying the river," Chew said. "We were lucky he was not in the water (when the incident occurred). If not, we would have had a lot different outcome."