SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - After several hours and a couple of frightening moments, crews were able to rescue a boater before he went over a dam.
It happened around 2:00 Tuesday morning at Great Crossing Park on North Elkhorn Creek. Firefighters found a man, Phillip Gillispie, stranded on a boat that was stuck on a log, just before the edge of the dam.
Crews were able to reach Gillispie and get him to safety, but they had to battle some strong currents. Firefighters say the creek was up from rain over the past few days, and at one point, crews almost went over the dam when they tried to rescue the boat.
"I thought I was fishing back towards the dam, towards the boat ramp, but I ended up way over on the north side of Georgetown," said Gillispie, "all I was thinking about was getting back and getting my boat in the water at that point."
Firefighters say it was lucky he got stuck on that log, because he wasn’t wearing a life jacket.
"There's a log that's caught in front of the dam, which we got caught on too trying to back him off," says Chief Mike Fuller, Scott County Fire Department. "But there's a log caught on the dam and he got caught on it. I'd say there's a good shot that kept him from going over. It obviously made the service area down there by the dam a whole lot wider than it would've been if it was just water going over the dam."
Chief Fuller says he's seen other incidents where boaters have gone over the dam, but never a scenario like this where they had to rescue someone who was stuck.
There are signs in the area around the creek that warn boaters about the dangers of getting too close to the dam.
"We need to have some bouys or something down there for safety," said Gillispie.