Four Rescued After Being Trapped For Hours In Flooded Creek (With Photos)

December 15, 2009


Four people were rescued in dramatic fashion Monday night after their vehicles were swept off Deere Creek Road by raging flood waters from a swollen creek.

atmorerecue15.jpgThey were rescued by a man that many are calling a hero — Mike Allen of Atmore. Allen, a private citizen, used a jet ski to rescue the four from a flooded Brushy Creek, hours after their vehicles were submerged in the rising flood waters.

The first reports of the submerged vehicles were received about 9 p.m. Initial reports indicated that as many as eight  people might have trapped in the raging waters of Brushy Creek. When emergency workers arrived at the scene, the were unable to reach the victims due to the high water. Firefighters believed that they had persons trapped on a vehicle in the water, and they knew they had a man who had climbed into a tree to escape drowning. The creek was swollen so wide that the powerful spotlights of several emergency vehicle were unable to provide enough light for firefighters to determine exactly what situation they were facing.

For more photos from the rescue, click here. 

“Help me! Help me!” A faint voice could be heard calling for help from creek. “You’ve got to come get us.”

atmorerescue82.jpgFiremen first used a human chain — walking out into the flood water in an attempt to reach the victims. That effort failed, and the emergency workers retreated. About 10:30 p.m., they attempted to use a boat to reach the victims. Shortly after entering the raging water, the boat capsized, putting two firemen into the water. They were able to reach the shore unharmed.

“I can’t hold on any more,” one of the victims, presumably the man in the tree, yelled.

The next plan at that point, according to Atmore Fire Chief Gerry McGhee, was to wait for U.S. Coast Guard helicopter  dispatched to the scene. He said the helicopter would be able to provide enough light over the scene for firefighters to determine how to make the rescue. McGhee said that the helicopter would be unable to rescue the victims from the air, because they were located directly beneath high voltage power lines. The Escambia County (Ala.) Sheriff’s Department was also working at that time to get jet skis to the scene to be used in the rescue.

(Article continues below photograph.)


The man who had been up in a tree disappeared from the view of rescuers. He then reappeared, attempted to reach dry land by walking in neck deep water while holding onto bushes. Rescue workers screamed frantically at him to stop before he reached the open waters of Brushy Creek, fearing that he would be swept downstream.

At about 11:00 p.m., Allen arrived on the opposite side of the creek from rescue workers. He deployed his jet ski and quickly rescued the first victim, who was reportedly his niece. He transported her on the jet ski to rescue workers where she was rushed to a waiting ambulance.

morepics.jpg“He looks like a cowboy, smoking that cigarette,” one rescue worker said of Allen as he went about rescuing the victims one by one on his jet ski. He could be seen puffing away on a cigarette the entire time as he fought to keep control of the jet ski in the raging water. The last victim was rescued about 11:10 p.m., over two hours after the flood waters of Brushy Creek pushed their vehicles off the road.

In all, Allen rescued four victims – two adult males and two adult females. The four were transported by ambulance to Atmore Community Hospital for evaluation.

The Atmore Fire Department, Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue, Poarch Fire Department, Atmore Ambulance and the Atmore Police Department assisted in the rescue effort. Members of the Flomaton Fire Department spent their night on standby at Atmore’s main fire station.

For more photos from the rescue, click here.

Pictured top: One of four victims is rescued late Monday night from a flooded Brushy Creek on Deere Creek Road near Atmore. Pictured top inset: Civilian Mike Allen uses his jet ski to rescue another victim. Pictured bottom inset: Two rescuers in the water after their boat was capsized by the raging flood waters. Pictured middle: Rescuers formed a human chain in an effort to reach the victims. They were unsuccessful. Pictured below: Firemen rush one of the victims to a waiting ambulance. photos, click to enlarge.



37 Responses to “Four Rescued After Being Trapped For Hours In Flooded Creek (With Photos)”

  1. ashleigh geck on January 1st, 2010 12:52 am

    ??? Het has anybody noticed that the very first picture the devilish face on that guys jacket??? WIERD

  2. TheOne on December 19th, 2009 2:34 pm

    first of all if it hadn’t been for ashleigh being there Mr. Allen may have not been there. And second if this is what u call our rescue squad everyone needs to step back and take a good look . for over 2 hours they were there trying to figure out a way to save them and failed time after time all it took was one civilian to come and within a matter of minutes saved 4 lives. i would be ashamed and embarrased if i was them. so if this is the people who i would have to look forward to saving me i think i would be figuring out a way to save myself . i would have no faith in them after the way things turned out. just my opinion and i am sure there are plenty that see it the same way. take a look people and think about whose hand our lives are in if another problem like this arises. they need to study search and rescue for a while and plan. all this took was common sense.

  3. atmore on December 17th, 2009 3:56 pm

    Everyone needs to realize that regardless of who was the hero.God makes no mistakes.He put everyone where they needed to be when this event happen and covered each of them.Everyone there should be rewarded for just being there attempting to save the life of this person.It takes alot of courage to jump in a creek whether you can swim or not.Please just sit back and Thank God that we still have some nice Godly people in this world instead of judging and worrying about who is the hero.I Know Jermey and yes he did a brave thing,he also had help from above along with mike,mathew and ashley.Just be thankful everyone is alive and have the time to share with there love ones for CHRISTMAS…GOD BLESS YALL!!!

  4. Aunt Kay on December 17th, 2009 9:05 am

    Looking at the pictures…Yes, I see many hero’s…including Ashleigh, Jeremy, and Matthew doing what they felt was right by going in to save Kari who had called Jeremy for help… no one would stand by and not attempt to help someone in danger…since, they are great swimmers…. Looking at the pictures…. the firemen helping Matthew out…Mr. Allen bringing in Jeremy & a young lady with his ski jet…I believe anyone assisting , including all the rescue personnel, the fire departments in the effort to save anyones life and endangering there own is a hero ……there were many hero’s . …including Mr. Allen for his actions.

    I know God had a hand in this, once again showing us his mercy for with out him …there would of been many lives taken…for one individual. May God Bless each of you for your efforts….

  5. Carol McGhee on December 16th, 2009 6:54 pm

    MY SONS ARE HERO’S TOO in my eyes!!!!!!!! I am Jeremy and Matthew McGhee’s mom. First, thank you Mike Allen for resueing everyone! I want to clear up some missed information. My sons got a phone call from Kari Rolin saying she was in the creek about to drown, she is the girl that was in the car that went into the creek, my sons WERE NOT IN the car!!!. Since they live next door to Kari and about 1/2 mile away from the creek, they went to see if they could help her. Ashley was traveling on Deer Creek Rd and then Jeremy, Matthew and Ashley made the decision to jump in to save Kari Rolin! With that said, I’m thankful that my sons and Ashley (WERE THE FIRST HEROES) because without them, there might not have been a happy ending. I am very proud of my children and thankful for their lives!!

  6. bob on December 16th, 2009 10:49 am

    Thank God for these heros. We need more people like this all over the US.

  7. Rescue Worker. on December 15th, 2009 10:30 pm

    This is not about William or the pictures on northescambia. The glory, the credit and the thanks goes to the rescuers and Mr. Allen. I know William would agree.

    But I was there last night. I want you to know that William was out in the edge of the creek most of of the night, up to his knees in the *cold* water. I’ve seen him at several rescue scenes. He’ll take his pictures, always respecting the victims, and will often lend a hand to rescue workers.

    He wll brave any kind of condtions and go anywere anyttime of the day or night to get us the photos we like to see…all while he is away from his family. I just want to thank him for what he does for our communities.

  8. AL on December 15th, 2009 10:06 pm

    ooh hold on now…. no need to bash the rescue personnel. They are responsible for keeping the public safe, whether that is the popular decision or not. Mr. Allen is indeed a hero and should be very proud – and the families of those rescued should be very grateful… but the rescue personnel are not the bad guys and were just as willing to risk their lives.

  9. AL on December 15th, 2009 10:00 pm

    Watching William’s photos on Ch5 WKRG news…. go William!!

  10. Terri Albritton Morris on December 15th, 2009 9:29 pm

    This is a shining example of the kind of people who live in Nokomis!

    Mike has always been a good neighbor; this time he just got caught in the act.

    A shout -out also to Jeremy, Mathew, and Ashley whose bravery put them in danger while trying to save someone else. It’s rare to see young people helping others.

    Thank God you are all alive and well.

  11. On the scene at the time on December 15th, 2009 8:02 pm

    I was there and Mike you were the hero. If it weren’t for you those guys would not have made it. Also please let the rescue guys know that when you get a report of people needing rescue in the water you may want to bring ROPE and LIFE JACKETS!!!!!!!!!!! Those guys had no idea what they were doing and it was obvious that they had no plan……. Enough about the negative…… I’m glad those guys are ok, I was really releived when they made it to shore.

  12. Tara Smith on December 15th, 2009 7:51 pm

    Now that was a great thing to hear about. A real hero. I know his family is so proud of him. I don’t know him personally but I’m proud of him! I’m so glad to hear everyone was rescued. This is truely a heart touching story.

  13. Ronda K. Moxness on December 15th, 2009 7:00 pm

    Well, I would like to give a shout out to Mike for what he did. That was a very brave and daring thing to do, but there was no doubt about it at all, Mike would be the first person to help someone out. His family knows it, and now everyone who has heard this story knows it. Great job Mike, I am very proud of you, and so glad things turned out the way they did….Love you man!!

  14. People without a badge can help too. on December 15th, 2009 6:22 pm

    Thank God everybody was safe after this event and thankS to mike for getting the job done without a badge or training even though those with one instructed you not to even though hours had passed by and nothing had got accomplished expect for sinking a good samaritans boat. The dept put a guy in a boat that had no idea how to steer it and sunk the boat. Ruined a attempt at a rescue when the guy that brought the boat there was probably more qualified. I was there and the boat owner was having to instruct the fire dept on how to navigate to victims for rescue. Civilians are just as capable if not more as we can see by mike’s well done efforts.

  15. Matt Hall on December 15th, 2009 4:52 pm

    Great story, Uncle Mike coming in for the rescue. that is good stuff. Glad to hear that everyone was okay.

  16. Anita DeLuca on December 15th, 2009 4:35 pm


  17. interested reader on December 15th, 2009 4:33 pm

    Four people had an early Christmas present Monday night,LIFE ! Mike Allen was the hero and God had all of them in His hand or this could have been a terrible tragedy. Thank you Lord. All involved in this saga are very brave to risk their own lives for others. The pictures William took tell the whole story. They are fabulous! GOD IS GOOD! HAVE A BLESSED CHRISTMAS!

  18. atmore on December 15th, 2009 4:31 pm

    just wonderful.great job

  19. Lindsey Moxness on December 15th, 2009 2:16 pm

    I am so proud of you Uncle Mike!! Great Job!!

  20. Chrystal Allen Purvis on December 15th, 2009 2:13 pm

    I am so proud of my dad. He has always been my hero. Now alot of people see him as a hero. Love you daddy.

  21. Cynthia Allen Davis on December 15th, 2009 1:31 pm

    My dad is my hero!!! I am so proud of him for being so brave!

  22. char on December 15th, 2009 12:31 pm

    What a story, it brought tears to my eyes!
    I didn’t know there were ppl out there like that anymore!

    What a great job Mr Allen, You should be very proud of yourself.
    Maybe Atmore and Molino could get together and do something
    for this man.

    We need more hero’s like this now days. People willing to get
    involved, even if it means taking a risk!

  23. Rogene Martin on December 15th, 2009 11:25 am

    Great Job, everyone. The rescue was wonderful and the pictures were very good. thanks for sharing it. Neighbors and family, working together. Awsome!

  24. Tina on December 15th, 2009 11:20 am

    What a great story. Nice to read something this good, when we have so much negative going on.
    Nice to see that we still have people who care.

  25. ashleigh geck on December 15th, 2009 11:13 am

    I love my uncle Mike.. I guess we (Matt and Jeremy) triedto be the heros.. but turned out we ended having to get saved ourselves.. Thank God my Uncle Mikw does not listen to cops and ended up putting the jet ski in the water anyways.. I love him.. and he really is a hero now in my eyes

  26. Kim Nall on December 15th, 2009 9:36 am

    To all the heros in these pics, I commend you. Mike and Ashleigh, great job! Ashleigh, I know your mom is very proud this morning. And to…..great pics! I think these need to be sent to a national news station!

  27. AL on December 15th, 2009 9:03 am

    Great story and incredible photos! Good job, William!
    Thanks, Mr. Allen – I am sure you are a very popular man in the households of those you helped.

  28. Wild Bill on December 15th, 2009 8:07 am

    Looks like Atmore has a new Marlboro man. Nice job on the rescue Marlboro man!

  29. justsaying on December 15th, 2009 7:31 am

    Awesome Mike! Nice to hear a positive story for a change.

  30. whitepunknotondope on December 15th, 2009 7:31 am

    Mike Allen, my hat goes off to you! Thanks for being there, thanks for risking your life and thanks for showing the world that people care enough about others to take the risks you took. You are really a hero. Bless you and once again, thank you for re-affirming my faith in man!

    And William… wow! This is the best story and photo combo you have EVER done! Absolutely fantastic!

  31. stuart on December 15th, 2009 6:55 am

    That man deserves some type of commendation. We ought to try to work on that at the county commission.

  32. JEFF R PERKINS on December 15th, 2009 6:53 am

    Another great job by North escambia .com to get out a story of local interest …Mr Allen is a real hero , as we know how dangerous a flooding creek in our local area can be a real threat .. Congrats to all the emergency personell who helped in making this a story with a happy ending …it could easily have been a tragedy ..Thanks to all of you ….Jeff

  33. Chris Maloney on December 15th, 2009 6:48 am

    Mike Allen, you are the man!

  34. Molino Mom on December 15th, 2009 6:27 am

    Amazing rescue, amazing stories, amazing pictures.

    Thank you to all of the rescuers. Thank you to Mr. Allen.

    Thank you to William and for bringing us the news and photos that no one else does.

  35. Mickey Powell on December 15th, 2009 6:01 am

    A Great deed done by a Great person.

    Finally a heart warming story worth reading. You know all news is not bad news. This gives us a time to refleck on the good things and not the bad things a human being can do.

    Mickey Powell

  36. Jay Friend on December 15th, 2009 5:46 am

    What a great story and awesome pictures. Thanks be to God that this has such a happy ending. And to the rescuer you really are a HERO.

  37. Jan on December 15th, 2009 5:41 am

    Great job by all in the rescue. Fabulous pictures, William.

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