According to Friday's NPS Morning Report, on the evening of July 6th, Rangers Paul Forward and Chris Calkins and Supervisory Ranger Sean Perchalski were patrolling Diving Rock, one of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area’s busiest areas, when Forward spotted a man in the middle of the river who appeared to be in distress.
The man went under several times as two other visitors struggled to keep him afloat. He then began to pull both of them underwater.
Forward threw them a lifeguard rescue tube and a throw bag, but the people in the water couldn’t reach them. Perchalski then threw a life vest and a second throw bag, which they were able to grab and use to stay afloat. The rangers then pulled all three to shore.
The 22-year-old man who’d originally gotten into trouble was checked out by EMS, but declined further treatment at a medical facility. The other two were extremely fatigued but otherwise okay.
This area has been the scene of several drownings in the past few years by people who’ve tried unsuccessfully to swim across the river. The most recent was on June 9th, when a 24-year-old man drowned while swimming across the river at the same exact location. The river is approximately 175 feet across at this point.