AUSTIN (KXAN) - It took 17 minutes for emergency crews to find a local man aftergetting 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 10minutes, was eventually found and pronounced dead an hour later ata 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. nearthe Montopolis Bridge near Leavander Loop in East Austin. When the911 call came in at 11:10 a.m., it was reported as an incidentunder the I-35 bridge, briefly sending rescue units to a place afew miles away.
KXAN received the 9-1-1 calls from the incident earlierTuesday.
"He said they were swimming in the river itself towards the deepend and someone was drowning," said a dispatcher translating forthe 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 ofbridges 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 tofigure out to send crews to Lady Bird Lake just under I-35, but noone was there.
"We asked the caller if he saw the units there and he said hedid not, we started asking more questions. The call-taker askedmore questions about the location and that when he was able toclarify Montopolis and the river and not I-35 and the river," saidMarcia Brooks, Emergency Communications Manager with APD.
Ten minutes into the call, crews were re-directed to theMontopolis Bridge. It took seventeen minutes total for crews tofinally arrive on scene. All because of a mis-communication.
"So whether it be an English or Spanish call-taker, or personcalling, the result is still the same. The location was not exactlygiven to us so it was hard to determine exactly where they were,"said Jasper Brown with EMS.
Torres was still underwater when crews arrived. Firefighterswere able to dive in and retrieve him. He died about an hour and ahalf later, upon arrival, at Brackenridge Hospital.
E-M-S tells us tracking the location could be done through acell phone, but it wasn't used in this case.
Brown said, "Obviously, the newer phones, the iphones and thingslike that, provide GPS and thats pretty accurate versustriangulation done through the telephone company to provide us thisinformation."
According to witnesses, the unidentified man did not resurfacefor a long time after jumping in the water.
Divers searched the water for almost an hour, before finding theswimmer. EMS crews performed CPR on the man, but he died uponarrival to Brackenridge Hospital.
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