For the second time in less than a week a man has drowned in the Chatterhoochee River. Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services report that at about 4:58 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, firefighters responded to a report of a man unaccounted for in the Chattahoochee River at Medlock Bridge Park in unincorporated Duluth. Swift Water Rescue teams from Gwinnett Fire, Johns Creek Fire and rangers from the U.S. Park Service Law Enforcement division as well as a helicopter from the Gwinnett County Police Department converged on the river.
The police helicopter was able to locate the body from the air as firefighters and rescue boats began a water search. The body of the man was recovered in about 10 foot of water and boat rescuers initially tried life support measures but were unable to revive him. According to GCFES, the man was fishing with his two brothers when he reportedly waded in to free a fishing line. He was swept away and he tried to cross back to the river bank and went under, never to resurface. Water generation from Buford Dam was occurring at the time. The name of the victim has not yet been released, pending notification of extended family.
“This is a very tragic incident and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends,” Capt. Tommy Rutledge with GCFES said in a press release. “Firefighters are reminding river patrons to check the generation schedule at Buford Dam and avoid being on the river during generation times and until the water level recedes. Be sure to read the posted warnings and stay alert to the changing river conditions. Wear a life jacket, especially if you don’t know how to swim. The river can quickly change from tranquil to turbulent and catch anyone unsuspecting off guard.”