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Two men and a dog rescued from river

July 07, 2003|by DON AINES

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - Two men and a dog stranded in the Shenandoah River were rescued Sunday night, according to Independent Fire Co. Chief Ed Smith.

The two unidentified men had been in an inflatable boat that capsized below a boat ramp power plant, according to Smith. Both men refused medical treatment after their rescue, Smith said.

Smith said one of the men was standing in waist-deep water about 20 feet from an island in the river, but about 50 yards from the riverbank. The other man was upstream sitting on a rock with the dog in an area of rapids, he said.

The two men were separated by several hundred yards, according to Scott Biller, assistant chief of Friendship Fire Co. Biller said firefighters from the Blue Ridge and Citizens Fire companies also assisted in the rescue.

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"He'd probably already gone about 400 or 500 yards downstream before he got stopped," Smith said of the man found in the water.

The fire company used a rescue boat to bring the boaters and the dog to safety. The call came in at 8:20 p.m. and all three were rescued by about 9 p.m., he said.

While the man standing in the water was wearing a life jacket, the man on the rock was not, Smith said.

The men said they lost control of the boat after the water began to rise quickly on the river. A heavy rainstorm was passing through the area when the rescue occurred, Biller said.

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