Monday, 22 July 2019 16:39

Richmond County crews perform 2 water rescues in 3 days near Blewett Falls

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Crews from Cordova Fire and Rescue, Ellerbe Rescue and Rockingham Rescue respond to the aid of two teenage girls stranded on a rock on the south side of Blewett Falls late Sunday night. Crews from Cordova Fire and Rescue, Ellerbe Rescue and Rockingham Rescue respond to the aid of two teenage girls stranded on a rock on the south side of Blewett Falls late Sunday night. Courtesy: Cordova Fire and Rescue

ROCKINGHAM — Rescuers had to pull four people from the Pee Dee River after they were stranded on the rocks this weekend.


Four crews were called out around midnight Friday into Saturday to aid to kayakers stranded about 20 yards from the base of the Blewett Falls Dam, according Chief Jeremy Chance of Cordova Fire and Rescue.

Ellerbe Rescue, Rockingham Rescue and Lilesville Fire Department also responded.

Chance said they put the swiftwater boat in at the nearby boat landing, but the water was too low and rocky they had to take it back to shore and send out the rescue swimmers.

The first victim was pulled out “fairly easily,” he said, adding that the second victim was further out and they had to use ropes for the rescue because of the current.

While Chance stayed with the first victim, the other rescuers threw the second victim a helmet and life jacket. The second victim had to tie off one end of the rescue rope to a tree, while crews at the bank secured it on the other side.

Chance was then attached to the rope and swam out to the second victim, grabbed him and the crews pulled them both back to shore.

The three Richmond County rescue crews were back out at the landing around 10:45 p.m. Sunday night.

Ellerbe Rescue Chief Bryan Cloninger said two teenage girls, ages 16 and 19, were stranded on a rock near the boat landing at Blewett Falls.

The current wasn’t as bad as Friday night and Cloninger said three rescue swimmers were able to float a boat out to the victims to get them back to shore all within about 20 minutes.

Cloninger said it wasn’t clear how they wound up on the rock, as they had no boat, canoe, paddle or anything of the sort.

Ellerbe, Cordova and Rockingham are all three automatically dispatched to water rescues.

Cloniger said most of those happen at night.

There were no injuries reported with either of the rescues, however Chance said a water moccasin slithered across his life jacket during the first incident.