Local News

Helicopter plucks Raleigh kayaker from Haw River

Posted July 5, 2013

— A state helicopter rescue team airlifted a kayaker from a small island in the Haw River in Chatham County early Friday, officials said.

Sam Gilliam, 22, of Raleigh, spent the night stranded in the island, about a half-mile south of U.S. Highway 64, after capsizing his boat, officials said.

Pittsboro Fire Chief Tim Perry requested the assistance of the state Department of Public Safety’s Helicopter and Aquatic Rescue Team, known as NCHART, shortly before midnight, but fog delayed the rescue effort until about 7:30 a.m.

The NCHART crew plucked Gilliam from the island and transported him to a safe location, where Chatham County Emergency Medical Services treated him, officials said.

NCHART is a specialized team of North Carolina National Guard and North Carolina State Highway Patrol helicopters and state Emergency Management and local emergency services personnel.


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  • Offshore Jul 5, 2013

    Irresponsible boaters will be the cause of regulation of river use.

    Why would it? Hasn't slowed down the irresponsible boaters on the lake with their power boats?

  • Good Bye WRAL Jul 5, 2013

    re: djofraleigh - Yep, the carelessness of a few will likely ruin the fun for the rest of us.

  • djofraleigh Jul 5, 2013

    Irresponsible boaters will be the cause of regulation of river use.

  • djofraleigh Jul 5, 2013

    How much is that going to cost the man? People should not get on the rivers after big rains. All kinds of debris is in the water.

  • Good Bye WRAL Jul 5, 2013

    I hope NCHART let the 'fog delay' teach him a lesson! And, yes, a bill should be sent.

  • jblake1932 Jul 5, 2013

    Iv'e canoed that same stretch this week. It is not a place for beginners, especially after the rain we've had. I had a ball! A little common sense will go a long way!

  • common tater Jul 5, 2013

    Glad he's OK...but he should have to pay for the entire rescue operation.

  • froggygirl Jul 5, 2013

    Not again! Out west they make people pay for rescues. Maybe they need to do that here.

  • BernsteinIII Jul 5, 2013

    Hope they charge him for the cost of the rescue.