North Carolina

Child rescued from ‘drowning machine’ in a North Carolina river, officials say

A child was rescued from an area known as “the drowning machine” on a North Carolina river on Sunday, media outlets report.

The boy was swimming with his family at the Lindsey Bridge Access at the Dan River in Madison, North Carolina when he got trapped in “the drowning machine,” an under-water current created by water flowing out of the low-head dam, according to WFMY.

Madison is a town in Rockingham County, about 30 miles from Greensboro.

An off-duty sheriff’s deputy was trying to save the child when the Madison-Rockingham rescue squad arrived at the river, according to Spectrum News.

Rescuers then pulled the child 50-feet up an embankment using a basket and ropes, Spectrum News reported.

He was taken to a hospital and is in critical condition, according to WGHP.

Captain Roy Stewart with the Madison-Rockingham Rescue Squad told WFMY that about two people drown there every year.

“The dam doesn’t look dangerous, it looks nice, but it’ll drown you and kill you in just a matter of minutes. It’s a severe hydraulic, you get in there, it’s hard to get out. Some people stayed in there for days before people recover them,” he said, WFMY reported.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.