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MOTHER AND DAUGHTER RESCUED FROM CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER
(Buford, Ga., May 22, 2022) – Firefighters responded at 2:49 P.M. to a report of two stranded persons near the 6300 block of Cumming Highway NE in Buford. The 911 caller advised that his wife and daughter were trapped in the current.
Crews from Fire Station 26 arrived on scene in approximately six minutes and attempted to make visual contact from the Cumming Highway bridge over the Chattahoochee River. The river was at a higher-than-normal flow due to hydropower generation at the Buford Dam. Station 26 identified the two victims from the bridge, then made their way to the riverbank to attempt rescue utilizing rope bags. At the riverbank, Engine 26 found the husband and one pediatric male who were unharmed. Attempts were made to throw rescue ropes to the two victims in the water but failed due to distance from the shore. As Swiftwater 14 placed their boat in the river, Engine 26 relayed location information. Upon the Swiftwater Rescue Team’s (SRT) arrival at the victims, two rescuers were sent into the water. Rescue swimmers were able to retrieve a pediatric female, removing her at the shoreline. The river’s current swept the mother away before members could secure her extraction. SRT maintained visual contact with the mom until they could pull her out of the water and onto the boat downstream. SRT took the patient to the McGinnis Ferry Bridge, where medical crews were waiting to provide care. A park ranger with the Army Corp of Engineers also responded to the scene. The mother was transported to a local hospital for injuries sustained during the incident. The daughter was treated and released to her father.
This incident serves as a good reminder that the National Park Service encourages everyone to wear Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) whenever near rivers.
EQUIPMENT AT THE SCENE INCLUDED: 1-Engine, 1-Squad, 2-Medic Units, 1-Battalion, Swiftwater Rescue Team, and 1-PIO.