Whitewater Responds To Backlash
Whitewater Criticized For Opening During Search For 6 Year Old
The popular rafting company Whitewater Express is responding to public backlash after rafters were seen near search teams looking for a drowning victim.
Whitewater’s decision to open for business before searchers located a child who disappeared in the Chattahoochee River struck a chord with some people in the community and appeared in stark contrast to Public Safety’s request for civilians to stay away from the area.
The General Manager of Whitewater Express tells First News they were in constant contact with multiple agencies when they decided to reopen as the search for a missing six year old boy was still underway.
“We have moved from side to side as per their request and we have even communicated to our guests to respect the family and to be a little bit more solemn in this flat water area after our major rapid. Now (inaudible) excitement had sure through the rapids um and it was out of no disrespect but just simply because it was exciting. It’s a tragedy and our heart goes out to the family. However we always want to remind people and use this opportunity for safety on the river,” Chambliss said about the criticism.
But observers took to social media blasting the business decision as a bad move during an active search for a drowning victim.
“I think we make the river safer being out there . I mean , me personally I have dealt with situations that would have been tragic had we not been there. We have been First Responders and first callers to many situations on the river because our presence was there. None of our operations today was out of disrespect of the family. None,” Chambliss said.
Editor’s Note: The 6 Year Old drowning victim was located Tuesday morning nearly 10 miles away from where he was reported missing.