Onlookers pull kids onto rock after they fall off tubes on NC river, rescuers say

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Two children were rescued from a North Carolina river after falling out of their tubes on Monday, officials say.

They were floating down the French Broad River in Alexander near Ledges Park with their mother and grandfather when all four hit a rock and flipped out of their tubes, French Broad Fire and Rescue Chief Matthew Shelton told McClatchy News on Tuesday.

Once in the water, the young children got separated from the adults, Shelton said.

The mom and grandfather were washed to the shore, but Shelton said the kids — only one of whom was wearing a life jacket — kept floating toward mid-river.

Eventually, two bystanders saw the kids floating down the river and jumped in to help them, Shelton said. They pulled the two kids onto a rock, where they waited for rescuers.

Shelton said the department “deployed a boat” to pick the four up and bring them back to shore, where the kids were reunited with their mom and grandfather.

No one was injured during the accident, just “shook up and a little scared,” Shelton said.

He said it’s important when out on moving water to have a life jacket and a helmet.

Alexander is in Western North Carolina, about 13 miles from Asheville.

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