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Girl rescued from creek in Orange park by passersby

December 27, 2010 |  6:13 pm

Three passersby rescued a 13-year-old girl who had been swept into a flooded creek in an Orange park Monday, fire officials said.

The girl had been walking dogs with her sister and a friend alongside the creek in the Hart Park parking lot near Glassell Street, said Orange Fire Capt. Sean DeMetropolis. She stepped into the water and was pulled all the way into the creek by the current, which was moving as fast as 10 mph.

“Basically, the water caught her feet and pulled her downstream,” DeMetropolis said.

Fire officials received the call for aid about noon, but before they arrived, three men heard the girl's cries and linked arms to reach her. She was pinned up against a palm tree after having been carried about 100 feet downstream.

“They were able to get her out of the water and onto the shore rocks, and that’s when the Fire Department got on the scene,” DeMetropolis said. “The center of the water moves fairly quickly, so it’s easy to lose your footing, and someone who’s not ready for that experience is caught off guard.”

The girl, whose name was not released, had been in the “fairly cold” water for several minutes, he said. She was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, where she was treated for minor cuts and bruises.

“She was pretty shaken up,” DeMetropolis said. “Obviously, she wasn’t prepared to get in the water. The problem is now that the water is subsiding, more people don’t look at it as dangerous.”

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-- Nardine Saad

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