Chattanooga firefighters on the department’s fire boat were dispatched to the Tennessee River shortly before 1 p.m. on Wednesday to assist five UTC students who got into some trouble on their paddleboards. One of the students used her cell phone to call 911 Communications, saying they were trapped by the swift current and could not maneuver to open water to get back to their vehicle.
When the fire boat arrived in the area around the Casey barge on the North Shore, Captain Chip O’Dell said three of the students were in the water and two were on a boat dock next to the barge. The firefighters assisted the students and their equipment onto the fire boat, and then transported them safely to shore at Coolidge Park. Captain O’Dell said they were not injured and in good spirits.
This is the second time this particular fire boat crew has come to the aid of UTC coeds. On April 23, several UTC students became stranded on Williams Island when some of their canoes drifted away. They were not injured.