Dragonboat Races go on with a Splash and a Rescue

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A fan-favorite event in the Wyoming Valley that was postponed due to high river levels ran into some trouble. Eyewitness News Reporter Kevin Hayes was there for the events.

The fun at the Dragonboat Races on the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre cut momentarily cut short when one of the boats capsized.

The Wilkes-Barre Fire Department had to be called.

Thankfully, they and the teams that participated helped get everything back on track.

“We had a boat capsize. We’ve had it happen before. It’s not extremely common, but you know, take it in stride,”  said William Murtha, Asst. Chief, Wilkes-Barre Fire Dept

Another piece of good news…the fire department and the teams that participate are very well trained.

“They’re good with teaching their people what they need to do. We ask them to stay with the boat. Our people are very good at picking people up from this kind of a situation, and it makes it much easier when everybody cooperates,” Murtha noted.

The Queen Bee from the team that tipped the dragon boat well…it’s not her first time.

“I was in the drink one of the first years it happened. Google it (laughter)” said Patty Hughes, from the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association.

Even with the incident, everyone’s safe, and everybody was eager to get back out on the water.

“We do have a great team spirit. Everybody’s eager to get back out on the water. Nobody’s afraid. It happens, and go Wilkes-Barre!” said Hughes.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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