Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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Swimmer impaled by underwater rebar in Lady Bird Lake

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TWC News: Swimmer impaled by underwater rebar in Lady Bird Lake
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A swimmer was impaled by a piece of rebar in Lady Bird Lake Sunday evening.

Rescue crews were called to the area of Lady Bird Lake near Lamar Boulevard after a man around 20 years old jumped into the water from a platform beneath Lamar Boulevard Bridge.

According to the Austin Fire Department, the man’s foot and leg were impaled by a piece of rebar beneath the surface.

"Fact was that his foot was flat up against the concrete, with the rebar that was sticking all the way up through his foot and leg. The decision was made, finally, to medicate him and then pull him off of the rebar manually," AFD Battalion Chief Palmer Buck said.

Rescue swimmers freed the man from the underwater metal and the man was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge.

Swimming in Lady Bird Lake is against the law. According to the Austin Police Department, the bottom of the waterway is littered with concrete, rebar and other materials used in construction.

"This is a recreational boating lake, but all the old bridges and all the old construction here, as the city has grown for the last 150 years is under the water. There's a lot of trash under the water. You don't swim; you don't dive anywhere around Lady Bird Lake," Buck said.

If charged, a swimmer could face a $118 fine. A jumper from a nearby bridge could face a $228 fine.

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