Gray's Creek Fire Dept. saves 2 people who were thrown from boat on Cape Fear River

The quick action of the Gray's Creek Fire Department led to a successful water rescue mission on the Cape Fear River on Saturday.

"Saturday was probably one of the most intense water rescues we've done," said Justin Hobson, a full-time firefighter at the GCFD.

A large portion of the rescue was caught on camera.

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The water rescue team was called to assist Bladen County authorities at the William O Huske Dam. There, two people, who had been thrown from their boat when it capsized, were struggling to hold on to the boat and not be pulled under water.

Hobson says the current and the dam can create a very strong suction that can pull any one under and lead to drowning.

"Very dangerous, right on the edge of the dam - right where they were at," he said.

Hobson and two other firefighters quickly responded to the scene and got their rescue boat in the water. They were able to ease their way to the two people and safely get them out of the water; the victims only suffering from exhaustion and dehydration.

"We were able to put them on our boat, bring them back to shore, and hand them off to Bladen County EMS," Hobson said, adding this whole situation is a stark reminder of the danger of the Cape Fear River, especially when its water levels drastically fluctuate due to heavy rains or Hurricanes.

As Tropical Storm Elsa approaches North Carolina, the GCFD says they're ready to deal with any water rescues that may arise. They've also unloaded other equipment like chainsaws for downed trees.

While they hope it won't be needed, Hobson says they'll be ready to answer the call from neighboring counties.

"We don't want to have to use it, but it is here in case someone needs it. It does make you feel a lot better that you were able to help somebody," he said.
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