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Raw video: Man clinging to a branch rescued from Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

As firefighters from Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg went to work yesterday afternoon trying to get to a man stranded in the middle of the raging Rappahannock River, WUSA-TV photographer Kurt Brooks also went to work. Above is Kurt's raw video and below is an interview reporter Peggy Fox did with Kurt.


A man was rescued from the Rappahannock River Tuesday afternoon after he fell from a boat.

A call went out around 1:30 p.m. for a person in the water in a nearby quarry, says the Fredericksburg Fire Department. The Fredericksburg Fire Department responded and found two witnesses who advised the man was in fact in the river on some rocks.

Mark Doyle with Stafford County Fire says the man fell out of the boat and was unable to get to shore. He was standing on a rock and holding on to a tree branch, but even so, the water was up to his knees.

Fredericksburg City fire rescue personnel with assistance from Stafford County went out in a Fredericksburg City Fire zodiac boat from a nearby quarry. Falmouth Fire was on standby.

Fire rescue personnel located the man about 75 yards up river from the I-95 bridge. They encountered some language problems at first because the man only spoke Spanish, but they reached him and pulled him to safety in their boat.

We were originally told the man was transported by Medic 2 to Mary Washington Hospital, but a battalion fire chief with the Fredericksburg Fire Department official later said the man was conscious, alert, not injured and refused medical treatment. He also says the police questioned him and then let him go on his way.

He has been identified only as a Hispanic, 26-year-old man from Fredericksburg.

It is unclear what the man was doing before he fell into the river, but it is believed he may have been fishing in a rock quarry before he wound up in the river itself.

Authorities advise the river is not at flood stage but is much higher and swifter now than normal. Under normal circumstances, there are still dangers associated with the river, but authorities advise they are currently under a flash flood watch.  Rain has been heavy all day long in their area. They advise people to stay off of and out of the river at this time

This rescue Tuesday was the first time Fredericksburg Fire Department had used their new Zodiac motorized rescue boat, which they received due to a grant just last month.

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  • Scooter

    Gitty up boys !  Great Job !  I hope the guy bought some ice cream and cake for you guys…. Strike the Box!   K

  • Anonymous

    Nicely done….

  • oldhead

    Nice pick.  Controlling a boat in water like that ain't easy.  Gotta love the stupid people, job security!

  • Batt Chief

    That was an excellent display of boat control. Didn't force the situation they used poise and training to make the rescue.