UNDATED - A 14-year-old boy and his dog are safe after the two became stranded in the middle of the Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam late Monday afternoon.
Forsyth County Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers said the boy was stuck on a rock just south of the Highway 20 bridge. He said swiftwater crews from the Forsyth County Fire Department were the first to get to the young teen.
"He and his dog were stranded on a rock in the middle of the river, and this was about two hours after the [water] release from the dam," said Shivers.
"He and his dog were fine; they were, of course, very cold and scared, but we were able to pick them both off of the rock and we pulled them out of the river at Settles Bridge Park."
Shivers said an EMS team from Gwinnett County was waiting at the park and checked out the boy for injuries. He said the teen, whose identity was not released, was fine and was released to his parents.
One firefighter was bitten by the dog, thought to be a German Shepherd.
"He [the dog] was just scared and was trying his best to protect his owner so, of course, no hard feelings on our part at all," said Shivers.
The chief emphasized that the Chattahoochee River can be a treacherous place, especially below Buford Dam. He said it's important to always wear a life jacket if you plan to be on the river. Plus, he said, you should never go to the river alone.
"You really need to be with a friend," said Shivers. "Now a dog is a great friend, but you need to be with someone else that can always be a buddy, that can help you when you get in trouble or call for help."