Tallassee Police Chief Warns of Dangers on the Tallapoosa River

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By Brittany Bivins

The search is over for a missing fisherman in Tallassee.

Rescue crews discovered the body of 27-year-old John Picken on Saturday morning. They say his body was about a half a mile down the Tallapoosa River from where he was swept into the current.

Police say Picken and three other men were fishing on Thursday afternoon on a rock bed, when the waters began rising from a nearby dam. Three of the men escaped, but Picken was swept into the river.

Tallassee Police Chief Jimmy Rodgers says he hopes the tragedy will remind people to be cautious on the dangerous water. "These rocks, they're an attraction to people because of the recreational things that can be done as far as fishing, just enjoying the river itself, swimming and so forth, but a lot of people don't take into consideration they can be dangerous as well."

Saturday marks the four years since a kayaker died on the Tallapoosa. Some Tallassee residents say the tragedies make them want to be more careful when they're on the water. "I think there's going to be a lot of listening for those whistles to blow and waiting for that water to come when those whistles blow."

Rodgers says you should avoid going to far onto the water, especially when it could be rising. You should also be sure to wear a life jacket when you're doing any recreational water activities.

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