Local News

Rescuers free kayaker trapped on Durham County river

Posted August 2, 2013
Updated August 3, 2013

It took three people to pull a woman to safety Friday afternoon after her kayak got tangled in some branches on the Flat River in Durham County.

The woman and a male companion came upon trees felled in the river and were unable to avoid a collision. The current pushed the kayaks into the trees, where the woman's boat got trapped. 

She spent almost two hours trapped with her lower body still in the boat which was wedged under the branches by rushing water.

The woman told rescuers that she used a pocket knife to cut a rope that was pulling her kayak deeper into the obstacle and under the water. Rescuers said that move likely saved her life.

The boaters were able to call from help using a cellphone, but it took rescuers a while to find them. 

A swift-water rescue team from Durham searched the riverbanks until they located the pair, then put in to reach them just before 5 p.m.

The man was quickly guided to safety. It look a little longer to free the woman, but she was able to walk unaided and appeared to have suffered no serious injuries.

Three rescue woman on Durham County river RAW: Three rescue woman on Durham County river


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  • colinmb123us Aug 2, 2013

    Mr. Middle of the Road - unless she is delinquent on her taxes, she's already paid for the services Einstein.

  • kissof3 Aug 2, 2013

    Thank God you guys are ok. We were speaking to you on the bridge before you started kayaking. Is your daughter ok too?

    In response to the people commenting negativity...
    It is America! I know it is hard to believe that this family wasn't sitting in front of their tv or on the internet. This family was enjoying what God gave us! They were spending quality fun family time together! That is what this world is missing! This family is awesome and they had an accident! It happens. And...we pay taxes!! The rescuers did their job. Great job to them and thank God they came in time!

  • stormwaterguy Aug 2, 2013

    Looks like her companion does not have on his life jacket - bad mistake there big guy.

  • yankee1 Aug 2, 2013

    9 comments in 90 minutes? Hmmm!

  • jwar Aug 2, 2013

    Way to Go BAHAMA Fire and Rescue!!! You are the BEST VFD

  • Cahulawassee Aug 2, 2013

    "Even the best make mistakes."

    Absolutely true - thank goodness the illuminati don't apply their logic to car accidents which are easily avoided by people not driving anywhere. And to be clear - the people in these photos most assuredly are not "the best." No helmets, one improper PFD, and recreational sit-on-top kayaks on a river at a relatively high level - this is significantly different than experienced whitewater kayakers on the same river, a distinction perhaps lost on some of the wise minds here.

  • TITAN4X4 Aug 2, 2013

    "The woman and a male companion appeared to have run into the branches and she got stuck"

    I'm sorry, those aren't branches and should have been seen and avoided before it got to this point.

  • TeresaBee Aug 2, 2013

    Amazing footage. Good going rescuers!

  • greywolf30 Aug 2, 2013

    go get in the lake... paddle away all you want rivers not the place for that.. no there is no fine for rescues but does put lives on the line isn't that enough..

  • nfiniti9 Aug 2, 2013

    So basically you are saying no person getting outside and enjoying nature should ever be able to make a mistake? Even the best make mistakes.