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Firefighters rescue a statue from rising creek

7:42 AM, Jul 13, 2012   |    comments
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Statue mistaken for body in creek

MARIETTA, Ga. -- The search for a reported body in Sope Creek in Marietta ended in nothing close to a tragedy. In fact, it became fodder for jokes. What was thought to be a body turned out to be a plastic statue.

Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services responded to a 911 call about a possible body in the creek near Paper Mill Road. Fire fighter Denell Boyd said an elderly man walking along the creek thought he saw something suspicious. "He thought it was possibly a body floating in Sope Creek and described it," she said. "He thought the body had a pink shirt and blond hair."

Two swift water rescue teams from Cobb and Marietta were training in the nearby Chattahoochee River and diverted to Sope Creek. Three engine crews responded and walked the banks of the creek looking for the body.

About 45 minutes into the search rescuers found what they believed the man saw. It was stranded on a rock in the middle of the fast flowing creek. It was a plastic statue.

"They find this four foot figure that it looks like something that comes from a Nativity scene that you would put out in your yard," Boyd said.

It looked like a statue of Saint Joseph or one of the three kings, and it was pink.

None of the rescuers wanted to find a body, so you can imagine the comic relief when the search was over.

"After the fact, it's a big joke," Boyd said. "But at the time, it's not a joke; you have to take things like this seriously."

You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kgrowson 

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