LOUISVIILLE, KY -- Five adults were rescued early this morning after their boat lost power on the Ohio River and was pulled through the gates at the McAlpine Locks and Dam, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal in its Sunday edition.
Two people were taken to area hospitals with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to Lt. Col. Tom Carroll of Louisville Fire & Rescue.
Maj. Brian Lewis of the Clarksville (Ind.) fire and rescue said three of the adults were wearing life jackets when they were pulled from the water; two others were clinging to flotation devices, reports the C-J.
The rescue occurred after 2 a.m. The initial call about a stranded boat came into MetroSafe dispatch 12:53 a.m., according to supervisor Wendy Martin, but did not include an exact location for the boat. She said Louisville Fire & Rescue was dispatched.
Carroll said the boat was trapped against the locks near the dam. A fire boat attempted to extend a line and pull the boat free, but instead the strong river current sucked the boat and its passengers through the gates of the dam, the newspaper reports.
Lewis said the boat was against the gate near the middle of the river.
Clarksville officials had already put a boat into the river at the Harrison Avenue boat ramp and had stationed it below the dam, preparing for a "worst-case scenario," Lewis said. He said rescue personnel were able to locate the boat's occupants below the Falls of the Ohio Interpretative Center and above the boat ramp after hearing their calls for help. He said three of the people were rescued together and the two others were found separately, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. "It's a miracle no one was killed," Lewis said.
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