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Man injured while tubing on Shenandoah River

June 18, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - A man who slipped on a rock after getting out of his inner tube on the Shenandoah River had to be rescued Friday afternoon because he was injured too badly to swim, a rescue official said.

Independent Fire Co. Chief Ed Smith said the man was taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, W.Va., for a possible hip injury. Smith did not know the man's name or hometown, but said he was 34 years old.

Rescue officials were called to the river at 11:50 a.m., near the dam and power plant substation in Millville, W.Va.

The man, who was wearing a life jacket, was found sitting in a couple of feet of water near an island in the river, Smith said.

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Rescue officials used a raft from upstream and a power boat from downstream to reach him. He was about 200 yards away from the nearest shoreline, Smith said.

The man was not tubing with a river rafting company, Smith said.

Members of Friendship Fire Co. in Harpers Ferry also were involved in the rescue.

The rescue was the second in two days.

On Thursday, four children who had been swimming had to be picked up off rocks after swift currents swept them downstream on the Potomac River near Harpers Ferry, Smith said.

Three of the children were picked up by rafters, while the fourth was taken to shore by a Potomac Valley Fire Department crew, Smith said.

Rivers are more dangerous than they might seem. Swift currents often are beneath water that seems calm on the surface, Smith said.

Smith encouraged people engaging in river activities to be aware of the currents, and also to keep in mind that rocks in the water are slippery.

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