Emergency personnel rescued six people from the Yadkin River late Saturday afternoon.
Wilkes Rescue Squad Chief Cole Wyatt said three men and three women were floating down the Yadkin in inner tubes when they encountered a tree that had fallen over the river a short distance downstream from the Four Brothers convenience store on D Street, North Wilkesboro.
Wyatt said there was too little space for the inner tubes to pass under the fallen tree. All six ended up out of their inner tubes and holding on to the fallen tree in the river, said Wyatt, adding that someone dialed 911 for help.
Wyatt and fellow squad members Josh Bounds and Emily Lentz entered the Yadkin upstream and swam down to the people holding on to the tree in water six to seven feet deep.
Wyatt said they helped the six people get to other rescue personnel on the north side of the river a short distance downstream from the fallen tree with the aid of a rope.
One end of the rope was tied to the fallen tree and the other end to a tree near the other rescue personnel, which included more squad members and North Wilkesboro Fire Department and Wilkes Emergency Medical Services personnel.
The six were examined by Wilkes EMS on the scene and they were all okay.
Emergency personnel were dispatched about 5 p.m. Saturday. The Wilkesboro Fire Department also responded.
Wyatt said none of the six were wearing personal flotation devices, which he said is typical for people rescued from the Yadkin.
He also said there is a lack of awareness of the varying depths and currents of the Yadkin and problems posed by fallen trees. Wyatt said people floating the Yadkin need to take it more seriously, especially by wearing personal flotation devices.
The Wilkes Rescue Squad is involved in plans of local government officials to remove fallen trees from the Yadkin to make it safer for recreation.