NORCROSS -- For the second day in a row, Gwinnett firefighters rescued a teenager from rapid-rising waters on the Chattahoochee River -- this time near Jones Bridge Park in Norcross on Thursday evening.
Five 16-year-old Providence Christian Academy students were rafting on the river, they said, when one of them fell into the river and clung to a rock around 7:30 p.m.
"When we got to this section over here, we hit the rapids," said Josh Elam, the unfortunate river-goer. "I was sitting on a tube we had attached to the raft, and I flipped out and stuck on a rock. They just kept going because there was nothing they could do."
After "some guy in the park" unsuccessfully attempted to help him, Elam said, Gwinnett County fire's swift water rescue team made quick work of it.
Elam was safe and back on the ground within half an hour of the initial call, Battalion Chief Ken Chadwick said.
Elam and the man who attempted to save him were evaluated at the scene by paramedics with only minor injuries, fire officials said.
The other four rafters continued on the river and had no idea what happened until they got back to the park themselves.
"We were just kind of sitting there like, hey, he'll be fine, he can swim," friend Owen Lutz said, laughing. "I guess not."
In a similar situation Wednesday afternoon, Gwinnett County's rescue team responded to a trio stranded teenage kayakers on the Chattahoochee River near Settle's Bridge in Suwanee.
The Forsyth County swift water team lending a hand, they were able to rescue two 17-year-old boys who had been stuck on a rock after one capsized, as well as a female friend that had gone in pursuit of the wayward kayak.
With summer just getting kicked off and Memorial Day weekend beginning today, Thursday's events were another reminder of the risks inherent in watery fun.
"He's a cautious kid, he's not a big risk taker, but things happen," said Lynn Elam, Josh's mother. "It's something to learn from for everybody. It looks very inviting to go out there but it can be very dangerous."