The professional river surfer was about to begin his last surf when ambulances, fire trucks, police and park rangers — and a water rescue boat — arrived near the River Run drop just upstream from the Monument Avenue bridge.
“Basically, people aren’t educated enough,” said Thomas, 32. “They see somebody in the river and they immediately think they are drowning. They can’t fathom why someone would be out there on a board surfing.”
Thomas, a 2003 Fairmont High School graduate, said he and friend Wright were taking all the proper precautions: using a buddy system, wearing helmets, wetsuits, PDFs and outfitted with leashes that could quickly be released in case of entanglement.