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Emergency management: Men clung to tree after canoe flipped on river



Staff Writer



Two men, who became stranded on  the South Fork River over the weekend after their canoe flipped during area  heavy flooding, face alcohol violations, Lincoln County  Emergency Management officials said.

The Lincoln County Water Rescue  Team, comprised of swift water rescue technicians from various county agencies  including East Lincoln and Denver Fire Department, assisted firefighters with  Lincolnton and South Fork Fire Department with the incident.

Crews responded just before 8  p.m. Sunday to an area at Betty G. Ross Park to access the men.

The men, 20 and 24, told fire crews that they had gotten into the boat to float down the river for  “fun” and became stranded after their small vessel overturned.

Fire officials said the victims  clung to a tree for safety until rescue crews arrived and worked together to  free them from the rushing waters.

Following the incident, the release said police charged the men with alcohol violations.

Officers charged one of the men with underage drinking while the other received a charge for aiding and abetting, Lincolnton Police Department said.

Emergency crews urged residents to stay away from flood waters, which may contain dangerous items below the surface.

Rain water also washed away numerous roadways, bridges and even animals throughout Lincoln and Catawba County over the weekend.

Many roads remain closed and will take several weeks to repair, fire officials said.

The American Red Cross even setup a shelter Saturday and Sunday at Lincolnton High School to assist any local residents. The nonprofit agency said they served three adults at the facility.

Emergency Management and Lincolnton Fire Department used the county’s “Reverse 911” system to make contact with other residents throughout the area to ensure they were OK.

Individuals are asked to call 911 if they witness anyone playing on or near flooded areas.




Image courtesy of KaAnSuli | Lincoln Times-News

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