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Firefighters respond to distress call on Chattahoochee

Gwinnett firefighters on Friday night responded to the Chattahoochee River after witnesses alerted them that a kayaker may be in distress.

The incident occurred near Jones Bridge Park in Norcross at 8:41 p.m., and firefighters cleared the scene by 10:59 p.m.

“A witness believed the man may have been trying to take out at Jones Bridge, but missed his exit point,” Gwinnett Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said. “The man went further downstream and remained in the area of the shoals before continuing down the river.”

The man may have exited the river in the Roswell area, was wearing a life jacket and not signaling for help, witnesses told firefighters.

Swift Water Rescue Teams from Gwinnett Fire, Roswell Fire and Johns Creek Fire worked the incident. A boat and helicopter didn’t find anyone in the river or along the banks, and dense fog made the search challenging, Rutledge said.

“The water level is up and the current is swift due to generation from Buford Dam earlier (Friday),” Rutledge said. “This appears to be a good intent call by witnesses who were concerned about the kayaker. There has been no indication of anyone in distress on the river and no reports of a kayaker missing.”