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Officials rescue 4 stranded fishermen from Chattahoochee River

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

NORCROSS -- Firefighters were able to rescue four fishermen stranded by quickly rising waters in the Chattahoochee River on Tuesday night.

Gwinnett County and city of Roswell firefighters responded to the river near Jones Bridge Park in Norcross just before 8:30 p.m., finding the men stranded on rocks in the middle of the river, Gwinnett fire spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said.

As crews readied rescue ropes, two of the men were swept off the rocks and plunged into the sweeping current -- the current, however, actually pushed them closer to the shore and enabled them to pull themselves from the river, Rutledge said.

Despite one rope breaking during the rescue of the remaining two fishermen, firefighters were able to quickly deploy a second rope, and all victims were out of the river within 20 minutes of emergency personnel arriving on scene.

The individuals reported that they were fishing together when the water began to quickly rise, Rutledge said. A female witness on the shore reportedly attempted to warn them, but it was too late.

"All four denied any injuries and were glad to be rescued from the cold waters," Rutledge said. "They were released at the scene to go home."

Rivergoers are encouraged to contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine water release schedules from Buford Dam. The current and water level from the dam release earlier in the day Tuesday did not reach Jones Bridge Park until late in the evening, Rutledge said.