Accident Database

Report ID# 914

  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Near Drowning
  • Other

Accident Description

When two women jumped into the Chattahoochee River near Atlanta to rescue their dogs On June 13th they were washed downstream and ended up holding precariously to the bridge abutments of I-75! Rescue workers were preparing to rappel down to one of them when kayaker Will Sutton saw the commotion. According to a posting he wrote for Boatertalk, he headed upstream and met a friend, Goeff Kohl. They sprinted downstream and eddied out at the bridge abutment. Firefighters had hold of one woman, but a second one was holding in a much more precarious place at the next bridge pier over.

After getting the go-ahead from the incident commander, Sutton was given a spare PFD to take to the woman. He paddled over and coaxed the woman into an eddy just upstream of a nasty log jam. She donned the PFD and got on the back of Sutton's boat. He paddled her to shore as his friend provided backup. The story was on the 6:00 news on all the main Atlanta stations.

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