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Family of five rescued from Goose Creek Reservoir Dam

Courtesy Photo/Loudoun County Fire and Rescue
A family of five was rescued from their boat near the Goose Creek Reservoir Dam Monday afternoon, according to Loudoun County Fire and Rescue.

According to reports, at approximately 5:30 p.m. the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center received a call from an individual stating he and his family were stranded in a boat on top of the Goose Creek Reservoir Dam.

The man said the motor on the small fishing boat had failed leaving them to drift and ultimately stop atop of the 20-foot dam. A portion of the boat was hanging over the edge of the dam, which is located just upstream from the Luck Stone Quarry off of Belmont Ridge Road.

Fire and Rescue units from Ashburn, Lansdowne and Leesburg were dispatched along with rescue boats from Leesburg, Cascades and Lucketts. When the first unit arrived they found a small boat teetering precariously on the edge of the dam.

The boat was occupied with two adults and three small children.

The swift moving current made the boat unstable, and all the occupants were seated in the bow of the boat to keep it from falling over the dam. With the exception of one adult, all were wearing life vests.

Initial attempts to reach them using an aerial ladder were unsuccessful because the stranded boat was too far from shore. First responders were eventually able to successfully deploy an additional lifejacket to the stranded vessel using a throw rope from the end of the aerial device. Crews were also deployed downstream with rescue equipment in the event that the vessel fell over the dam. Upon arrival of the water rescue team, a boat and crew quickly launched and made their way out to the stranded family. Rescuers connected a tow rope to the fishing boat and pulled the family safely to shore.

Once on land, each of the family members were evaluated by emergency medical technicians and found to be without injury.

Fire Chief Keith Brower praised the work of the rescue crews in a statement Tuesday.

“Swift water rescue incidents are among the most dangerous activity we perform," Brower said. "In this case, five lives were saved due to the combined efforts of the men and women of our Fire and Rescue System. I am extremely proud of their efforts.”

Fire and Rescue officials say the incident highlights the importance of ensuring that all recreational boaters have Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices and use them at all times during boating operations.


Clearly this location is too dangerous to be boating. Hopefully there are signs up that say NO BOATING, SWIMMING, etc.

Sorry Roger_Q_Smith, common sense is no longer politically correct or something.

Common sense is a lot cheaper. Unfortunately, a lot rarer, too.

This could have ended very bad, like the death of 3 children and possibly 2 adults.  Why is there any boating or fishing allowed above this dam?? It should only be allowed below the dam.  If there is going to be boating above dam, they need to have safety lines located way above the dam.  Occoquan has safety support devices over their 72 foot high dam.  There are barriers and buoys that could stop or assist in stopping a stranded boat.  I think Loudoun County should invest in something here to avoid future loss of life.

Now that was a dam rescue!

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