Passersby spotted the men in the water shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday. Andrew S. Cook Jr., 25, and Garrett M. Pickiering, 26, said they also had asked someone to call for help after they apparently fell into the river in the area of State Route 47 and Port Huron Drive.
“We had prepared for a water rescue,” Sgt. Joel Howell, of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, said. “We weren’t exactly sure if they were in the water.”
Deputies received word that the pair, who were wet and carrying an oar, were just south of town.
“They ended up going to jail for inducing panic, the reason being they left after asking somebody to call for help for them,” said Howell, who added that Cook and Pickiering apparently admitted to seeing at least one deputy respond.
Cook and Pickiering were each booked into the Shelby County Jail on suspicion of inducing panic. They await Monday morning court dates, according to online records.
Howell said the river is especially dangerous because it is flooded over the banks, full of debris and has a swift current.