The Chattanooga Fire Department's fire boat was dispatched to the Tennessee River shortly before 1 p.m. to assist five UTC students.
One of the students used her cellphone to call 911, saying they were trapped by a swift current and could not maneuver their paddleboards to open water to get back to their vehicle.
When the fire boat arrived in the area near the Casey barge on the North Shore, Capt. Chip O'Dell said three of the students were in the water and two were on a boat dock next to the barge.
The firefighters assisted the students and transported them safely to shore at Coolidge Park. O'Dell said they were not injured.