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Rescuers Save Two Stranded Kayakers

By: Michael Gorsegner Email
By: Michael Gorsegner Email

March 5, 2007

Two kayakers were out on the James River this afternoon when their boat overturned in the fast moving current. One man was able to swim to shore while the second went missing for several hours.

It all began just before 4 p.m. when two men in their late 30's were kayaking on the James River and somehow their boat capsized. One of the men made it to shore near the Canton Public Boat Landing while the second remained missing.

"We put the boats in downstream in case the individual had come downstream in the water and worked our way up and located him on an island very close to where he came out of the boat," said Captain Steve Martin of the Lake Monticello Water Rescue Team.

It took water rescue units from Scottsville, Arvonia and Lake Monticello about two hours to locate the man. He was cold and wet but seemed healthy.

"We did turn him over to EMS to be checked out. He was cold. This water will take your body heat away very quickly so they checked him for hypothermia and he did have a slight leg injury," Martin said.

While neither man was hurt badly, Captain Martin says the conditions right now are pretty tough.

"The river is up right now considerably from the rain we had previously. All of it dumps into the James so it is really not a good time to be on the James fishing or rafting, either one," he said.

Both men were wearing life vests and helmets but neither were wet suits. Rescuers say the water is probably in the low 40's and of course that can turn deadly pretty quickly.

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