Surfers on the raging Great Miami? Calls pour into 911

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Police in Dayton have released a 911 call indicating that a man was in the river near the Salem Avenue bridge and appeared to be surfing on the rough waters.

Emergency dispatchers received multiple 911 calls Monday reporting two people potentially drowning in the Great Miami River, bloated and raging after Sunday’s record rainfall.

But surfers Shannon Thomas and Josh Wright were having the times of their lives.

“I had a blast. It was probably one of the best surfs I’ve had in a while,” Thomas said.

The professional river surfer was about to begin his last surf when ambulances, fire trucks, police and park rangers — and a water rescue boat — arrived near the River Run drop just upstream from the Monument Avenue bridge.

RELATED: Too much water for Dayton’s new $4M water attraction

“Basically, people aren’t educated enough,” said Thomas, 32. “They see somebody in the river and they immediately think they are drowning. They can’t fathom why someone would be out there on a board surfing.”

(CONTRIBUTED)

Thomas, a 2003 Fairmont High School graduate, said he and friend Wright were taking all the proper precautions: using a buddy system, wearing helmets, wetsuits, PFDs and outfitted with leashes that could quickly be released in case of entanglement.

RELATED: 20-year plan tries to make Dayton’s rivers more accessible, profitable

“At no point were me or my buddy in distress,” said Thomas, who tapped his helmet at the arriving emergency responders, an international symbol that one is not in danger.

While the river where the men surfed is typically much safer now that a low dam has been removed, it can still be extraordinarily hazardous under certain conditions — more so without proper training, said Amy Dingle, director of Outdoor Connections at Five Rivers MetroParks.

Surfers make use of Great Miami waves

“The men surfing the River Run on Monday were highly skilled, which allowed them to assess the action and temperature of the water, and they took every safety precaution,” said Dingle, a former Olympic team kayaker.  

Everyone must consider their skill level and experience when deciding whether to get on the water, she said.  

“We encourage anyone who hasn’t had training or extensive experience to stay off the river when it’s flooded,” Dingle said. “And always wear a life jacket.”

After exiting the river, Thomas said he had a 20-minute talk with authorities.

RELATED: Tornadoes, record rain pound region, leave ‘pretty tremendous damage’

“They were basically threatening me with inciting or inducing panic,” he said.

Thomas, who is sponsored by Badfish Stand Up Paddle, said he was not cited because he broke no laws.

RELATED: Your guide to making the most of RiverScape River Run

The wave created by the unusually high water is on par with one of the best river features in the nation, Thomas said.

“At that level it’s very similar to the Glenwood Springs, Colo., wave, which is probably one of the most famous waves in the country,” he said.

Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 3:56 AM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 2:30 PM

Staff photo
Staff photo

Check this page for a full list of crashes, disabled vehicles, construction projects and other hazards impacting your commute.

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

RELATED: Find the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood with our Pump Patrol

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents have been reported. 

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents have been reported. 

>> RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Alex-Bell Road will be closed for work on the Washington Twp. bridge over Holes Creek until Nov. 30. More information, including detour information, is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east
  • US 35 west ramps to I-75 north and south, RAMP CLOSURE Nov. 30 at 10 p.m. - Dec. 1 at 5 a.m. The official detour is: US 35 west to James H. McGee Boulevard to US 35 east to I-75 north and south 

DARKE COUNTY 

  • SR 705 near Groff Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Dec. 11 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
SHELBY COUNTY  
  • SR 29 between Cisco Road and West Russell Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Jan. 1 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. One lane will be open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers. 

Man in stable condition after motorcycle crash in Greene County

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:50 PM

UPDATE @ 12:55 a.m: One man is in stable condition at Miami Valley Hospital after being flown by a medical helicopter from a motorcycle crash on Jasper Road Friday evening.

LOCAL NEWS: 18-year-old pedestrian killed in Warren County; driver thought he hit a deer

The incident occurred around 10:40 p.m.

According to The Ohio Highway State Patrol, the individual has a few broken bones and is expected to recover.

INITIAL REPORT

A medical helicopter has been called to a motorcycle crash on Jasper Road this evening.

Emergency crews responded to the 2800 block of Jasper around 10:40 p.m.

Initial reports indicated at least one person was injured.

We’re working to learn more.

1 stabbed during fight in Dayton, police say

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 11:09 PM

UPDATE @ 11:31 p.m.:

One person was stabbed and the suspected stabber remains on the loose following a fight on Briarwood Avenue Friday night, according to police.

The man who was stabbed was taken to a local hospital, but is expected to be OK, police said.

Officers did take a juvenile into custody on the scene who may have been involved in the incident, police said.

INITIAL REPORT:

Dayton police have responded to a possible stabbing on Briarwood Avenue this evening.

Initial reports indicated that multiple people were fighting and that at least one person was possibly stabbed.

LOCAL NEWS: Police officer shoots suspect while responding to domestic incident

The incident was reported around 11 p.m. in the 400 block of Briarwood.

A caller to our news room said he saw a large response from police.

We’re working to learn more.

6 children shot, 1 killed in Cleveland neighborhood

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 11:27 PM

FROM THE SCENE: 6 children shot, 1 killed in Cleveland (courtesy of CBS affiliate WOIO).

Six children ranging in age from 12 to 16 years old were shot in a Cleveland neighborhood and one has died, according to CBS affiliate WOIO.

The shooting was reported Friday night in the 11000 Buckeye Road, WOIO reported.

According to WOIO, Cleveland police had blocked off East 116th Street and Buckeye Road following the shooting.

WOIO reported an unknown number of suspects dressed in black hooded sweatshirts remained on the loose Friday night.

The shooting was reported as a gunfight in the street.