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1 rescued after raft overturns on James River

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Richmond fire crews rescued a person stranded on some rocks in the James River Wednesday afternoon.

Lt. Robbie Hagaman with the Richmond Fire Department said crews were dispatched to Tredegar Street near Brown's Island just before 4:45 p.m.

A bystander reported that one of two rafts in the river had overturned. When fire officials arrived, they found one of the stray rafters stranded on a rock.

"My understanding from people who saw the raft said it had capsized from going through one of the rapids," Michael Goodman, a Richmond firefighter on scene said. "We launched a boat and we were able to pick them up and get them of the rock onto the other shore."

As of 5:30 p.m., crews had safely transported the victim back to shore.

Cindy Hoyt watched the situation unfold. She said she was perplexed that people would want to go in the water considering the temperatures are wintry.

"I thought it was odd and wondered if people went kayaking this late in the day on a cold day," Hoyt said.

Firefighter Michael Goodman says that despite the chilly temps, people are still drawn to the water.

"The river is somewhat elevated - as a matter of fact you have to have a high water permit at this point to be on the water and at that level it's kind of exciting, so a lot of people take to the river."

Firefighters also say it's important to remember safety when heading out on the water.

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