Updated: Tuesday, 13 Jul 2010, 10:45 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 13 Jul 2010, 3:02 PM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - It took 17 minutes for emergency crews to find a local man after getting the wrong location from witnesses who said he was drowning, emergency officials said Tuesday.
The man, who the 911 caller said had been underwater about 10 minutes, was eventually found and pronounced dead an hour later at a nearby hospital, officials said.
The victim has been identified as Jesus Herrara Torres, 32.
Witnesses say he was swimming with family around 11:10 a.m. near the Montopolis Bridge near Leavander Loop in East Austin. When the 911 call came in at 11:10 a.m., it was reported as an incident under the I-35 bridge, briefly sending rescue units to a place a few miles away.
KXAN received the 9-1-1 calls from the incident earlier Tuesday.
"He said they were swimming in the river itself towards the deep end and someone was drowning," said a dispatcher translating for the man who called dispatch.
"OK, can you find out exactly where they are in the river?"
The call continued, "He said all you can see is a bunch of bridges and they're underneath the bridge… under I-35, yes, under I-35."
It took over six minutes into the call for the EMS dispatcher to figure out to send crews to Lady Bird Lake just under I-35, but no one was there.
"We asked the caller if he saw the units there and he said he did not, we started asking more questions. The call-taker asked more questions about the location and that when he was able to clarify Montopolis and the river and not I-35 and the river," said Marcia Brooks, Emergency Communications Manager with APD.
Ten minutes into the call, crews were re-directed to the Montopolis Bridge. It took seventeen minutes total for crews to finally arrive on scene. All because of a mis-communication.
"So whether it be an English or Spanish call-taker, or person calling, the result is still the same. The location was not exactly given to us so it was hard to determine exactly where they were," said Jasper Brown with EMS.
Torres was still underwater when crews arrived. Firefighters were able to dive in and retrieve him. He died about an hour and a half later, upon arrival, at Brackenridge Hospital.
E-M-S tells us tracking the location could be done through a cell phone, but it wasn't used in this case.
Brown said, "Obviously, the newer phones, the iphones and things like that, provide GPS and thats pretty accurate versus triangulation done through the telephone company to provide us this information."
According to witnesses, the unidentified man did not resurface for a long time after jumping in the water.
Divers searched the water for almost an hour, before finding the swimmer. EMS crews performed CPR on the man, but he died upon arrival to Brackenridge Hospital.