Wyoming State Parks just put out a statement on a potentially catastrophic incident that was narrowly narrowly averted by the park rangers at Sinks Canyon on Thursday.

A Wyoming State Park Ranger on patrol was notified by a park visitor that a child had fallen into the Popo Agie River at Sinks Canyon State Park and had been swept away in the rapids.

Ranger Lonnie Porter immediatelyfound the 11-year-old boy clinging to a rock in the middle of the river.

He requested swift water rescue assistance and EMS support, but due to the current spring runoff conditions, the river was running high and the water was extremely cold.

Ranger Porter instructed the boy to stay in his current position.

Along with State Parks worker Ronnie Disbrow, Porter through a rope to the child, who was able to wrap it around his arm.

Because of the extremely cold water and high stress of the circumstances, the child's cognitive and physical abilities were rapidly declining.

Ranger Porter recognized that these factors were significantly increasing the risk to the child, and made the decision to immediately execute the rescue.

He and Disbrow pulled the child through the rapids and back to shore.

As soon as the boy was on the shore, he was rushed to Ranger Porter's patrol truck to start medical care.

Ranger Porter along with Wyoming Game and Fish Warden Zack Burnhart administered care that included wrapping the child in emergency blankets in an effort to get him warm and raise his body temperature back to normal levels.

A short time later, an ambulance crew arrived and took over patient care. The boy was transported to Sage West Hospital in Lander where he was treated for hypothermia.

“Ranger Porter’s quick actions and use of his water rescue training skills helped prevent a loss of life" said the State Parks Chief Ranger, who issued a big thank you to Porter for taking quick and decisive actions to make sure this story had a happy ending.

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Gallery Credit: Kolby Fedore, TSM; Photos from the Wyoming National Guard.

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