Local News

Rescuers free kayaker trapped on Durham County river

Posted August 2, 2013 4:48 p.m. EDT
Updated August 3, 2013 8:20 a.m. EDT

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.