Man rescued after being swept away in Chattahoochee River

A first-time river-goer had to be rescued from the Chattahoochee on Thursday after being swept away by rising water released from the Buford Dam, Gwinnett County officials said.

The man was taken to the hospital but "did not appear to be injured," Gwinnett County fire spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said in a news release.

According to Rutledge, the unidentified man was visiting the Chattahoochee River for the first time and was standing on a rock near Suwanee's Settles Bridge. He was swept away shortly after 5:30 p.m.

"The man was unaware of the generation at Buford Dam and was taken by surprise when the rising water and swift current reached his point on the river," Rutledge said. "The man lost his footing and swept from the rock."

Firefighters were able to pull the man from the water after utilizing a "throw rope bag," Rutledge said.

Each day, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases water from the Buford Dam, which is located where the Chattahoochee meets Lake Lanier, in order to generate power. The releases can cause quickly rising water levels and fast-moving currents, and river patrons are encouraged to stay off the water during generation times.

A release schedule can be found here or by calling 1-855-DAM-FLOW. The largest releases typically take place on weekday afternoons.