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Firefighters rescue pair from river

DULUTH - Firefighters rescued two workers whose boat capsized Thursday while they were inspecting an old iron bridge over the Chattahoochee River at Rogers Bridge Road in Duluth.

The men, who were not immediately identified, were employed by Lichtenstein Consulting Engineers of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to assess the condition of the bridge structurally. They were working off a platform lift that was mounted on a pontoon boat when the boat capsized at about 12:50 p.m., said Thomas Rutledge, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department.

The workers fell about 30 to 40 feet into the swift, frigid waters of the Chattahoochee River. Both men were able to swim to the bank on the Fulton County side, but firefighters couldn't access them from there. The Fire Department's Swiftwater Rescue Team took a boat to rescue them and loaded the men onto an ambulance to be transported to Gwinnett Medical Center for evaluations.

The workers were both conscious and alert, and their injuries were not life-threatening, Rutledge said.

Alan Klevans, a spokesman for Lichtenstein Consulting Engineers, declined to release the names of the workers and said he had not received many details about the incident.

"I don't have any information about how the boat capsized," Klevans said.

Klevans said his company was subcontracting for Jordan, Jones & Goulding to inspect the bridge as part of a multicounty greenway project - a paved walking and biking path that will eventually link Berkeley Lake and Duluth to northern Fulton County.