Injured tuber calls for changes to Coffee Co. boat ramp after near-death experience

COFFEE COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — An injured tuber and his friends are calling for changes to be made to boat ramps in Coffee County after a scary incident on the Pea River.

Kyle Greathouse and his friends were tubing down the Pea River last Saturday when disaster struck

“Next thing I know is that I stepped on I don’t know what it was,” Greathouse said. “As soon as I stepped on it I instantly dropped.”

The piece of metal he stepped on lacerated his foot and his friends quickly jumped into action.

“We went into fight or flight mode,” Friend of Greathouse, Ally Thomas said. “Nobody panicked thankfully. It was instantaneously ripping shirts off wrapping it around the wound and going into the woods to create a tourniquet.”

911 was called and crews rushed to the scene near the Weeks Bridge in New Brockton. They struggled to reach Greathouse initially as they could not get a boat into the river due to the sanding of the ramp. This forced rescue crews to call in a helicopter from Fort Novosel to prepare for a hoist maneuver, where they would have picked Greathouse up from his position on the river.

Road crews eventually cleared the ramp and first responders made it to Greathouse to treat the injury just in time, as Greathouse tells us he was about 45 minutes from bleeding out.

“All the agencies helped me stay calm and civil, and I couldn’t respect them anymore,” Greathouse said.

Once they reached the bridge, Greathouse was taken by helicopter to a hospital to finish up his treatment.

Greathouse is now out of the hospital and recovering from the injury, but his friends are still calling for changes to be made to the county’s boat ramps

“They’ve needed attention for a long time, as you can see it’s sand,” Thomas said. “It should not be sand, it should be concrete.”

While also sending out a PSA to anybody boating or tubing down the river.

“If you are going to float down the river pick up your trash and take it with you,” Greathouse said. “Don’t just let it do its own thing.”

The Elba Fire Department says the Coffee County Highway Department is adding the Weeks Bridge boat ramp to their monthly maintenance schedule. They will also do their best to check and clean the ramp after heavy rainfall events that cause the river to rise and push sand onto the ramp.

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