Two Missing on San Jacinto River Found
CLEVELAND, June 7, 2015 - A swim party on the east fork of the San Jacinto River almost turned deadly for two young women who were on inner tubes in the river and got caught up in the current and swept down stream as their boy friend’s looked on but were unable to help them. A call to the Liberty County Sheriff’s “911” dispatcher at 3:17 pm this evening put in motion a massive effort by several agencies to locate Tessa Colleen Ayers, age 20 of the Cleveland area and Summer Sheets, age 17 of Splendora on the river. The pair had gotten into the San Jacinto River just off CR 370 which is near the north Liberty County line where, at that point, the river is only about 4 feet deep according to reports on the scene. However, it appears the two young ladies were unable to get to shore before they were taken further down -stream by the waters current.
Fortunately the San Jacinto River at this section is not at flood stage as it was earlier on the lower end of the San Jacinto River or the flooded and very swift flowing Trinity River.
While personnel from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Cleveland, Plum Grove, New Caney, and Porter Fire Departments as well as Montgomery County Pct. 4 along with a PHI Air ambulance helicopter searched and put an air boat in the river and the helicopter searched above, the Liberty County EMS ambulance stood by for any medical needs that might arise.
At approximately 5:20 pm, Sgt. “Bubba” Pearson and Deputy James McQueen reported the two women made it to shore down-stream somewhere thought to be around the Maywood Sub-Division. There they came to shore then walked for about an hour through dense woods until they located someone who’s phone they used to call their boy friends to tell them they were alright. A concerned citizen returned the young women to the location on CR 370 where they were given a physical exam by Liberty EMS and found to be somewhat sunburned and dehydrated as well as covered with mosquito bites but otherwise uninjured. The pair declined to go to the hospital for further examination and were released to go home.
During this period of heavy rains and flooding there have been numerous warning issued to the public about the dangers of playing or swimming in the rivers. Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader, who monitored this search and rescue effort closely would, again, like to remind the public “….that right now the rivers are at dangerous levels. The current on some of these rivers, creeks and streams are very swift and all types of debris are being swept along the waterways. Not only the debris and contaminated waters are a threat to human health but alligators and snakes abound in these waters as well…..”. Sheriff Rader further advises “….that if you must be on the dangerous waters to please wear approved floatation devices and be sure that someone knows where you are going and when you will be back…..”.