Water safety stressed after Monday's Mackinaw River stranding

By WEEK Producer

Water safety stressed after Monday's Mackinaw River stranding

June 10, 2014 Updated Jun 10, 2014 at 6:20 PM CDT

GREEN VALLEY, Ill. -- Emergency personnel are stressing the life or death importance of water safety this summer.

This comes a day after a mother and her two young sons clung onto a tree after they became stranded on the swollen Mackinaw River near Mackinaw Valley Park in Green Valley.

The mother and two boys were inner tubing in the surging river.

Suddenly the inner tube flipped, and the family latched on to a cottonwood to avoid drowning.

Two passersby quickly jumped into action, putting their boat into the water and saving the family.

The mother and two kids were not wearing life jackets.

It's something that can happen again easily this summer, especially with kids out of school.

Today, rescuers are recounting what happened, saying it's more dangerous than those rescued realize.

"I don't think they were aware of the dangerous situation,” said Terry Runyon of the Greenville Fire Protection District. “It was their first time on the river. They grasped the last hand hold they could possibly get a hold of before being swept downriver."

That is something all parents should be concerned with, especially this time of year when kids are looking for something to do.