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Twin fatalities over weekend bring scrutiny to conditions on Ocoee River

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Mary and Scott Mantooth, owners of Sunburst Adventures rafting company, speak about the circumstances around, and unfortunate loss of one of their customers this past Sunday while rafting on the Ocoee River. Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press Mary and Scott Mantooth, owners of Sunburst Adventures rafting company, speak about the circumstances around, and unfortunate loss of one of their customers this past Sunday while rafting on the Ocoee River. Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press
CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

More than 100 rafters were waiting on the shore for their chance on the river when Marnita McGruder fell out of her raft and died on the Ocoee River on Saturday.

The guides knew what was happening. The guests didn't.

Just yards away on the ramp, Noah Perdue, a guide, tried to distract his guests as he waited to take them out, and he watched the rescue attempt. No one panicked.

"It was more like helplessness, because you're just watching people," he said. "There's nothing anyone can do. If you put in, you're putting yourself at risk."

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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