A mother and a daughter had to be rescued from the Chattahoochee River on Sunday, May 22, 2022, when they became caught up in the current due to water being released from Buford Dam.
Firefighters responded to the 911 call at 2:49 p.m. Sunday in the 6300 block of Cumming Highway NE in Buford. The first to respond were crews from Fire Station 26 who attempted to make visual contact with the mother and daughter from the Cumming Highway (SR 20) bridge.
They were able to visually locate the two victims and then fire crews made their way to the river bank to attempt to rescue them. Fire crews located the father and son at the river bank unharmed. Firefighters from Engine 26 attempted to rescue the mother and daughter by throwing rescue ropes to them but due to the distance between them and the shore, the attempted proved unsuccessful.
Gwinnett’s Swiftwater Rescue Team 14 (SRT) arrived and placed their boat into the water and worked with Engine 26 to locate the two victims. When SRT arrived at the mother and daughter, two rescuers went into the water and were able to take the daughter back to the shoreline. Before the mother could be secured, the river’s strong current swept her downstream. SRT maintained visual contact of the mother. She was later pulled out of the water and onto SRT’s boat downstream.
The mother was taken by SRT to the bridge at McGinnis Ferry Road where medical crews were waiting so that she could be taken to a local hospital for treatment. She had sustained injuries during the incident. The daughter was treated and released to her father.
Also responding to the scene to assist was a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Gwinnett County’s Swiftwater Rescue Team dispatches out of Fire Station 14 on Buford Highway in Buford.
On Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services’ Facebook page, they reminded the public about the dangers of the river, “This incident serves as a good reminder that the National Park Service encourages everyone to wear Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) whenever near rivers. For more information about Buford Dam including water release times for hydroelectric generation click here Bit.ly/38991E1.”