First Responders Warn of High Waters for Kayakers and Canoers


With summer right around the corner, it can be tempting to grab your kayak and head towards the creek.
But when creeks are flooded, safety officials say it’s best to stay out of the water.

Last Sunday, when kayakers tried to brave the high waters, they ended up having to be rescued.

“Within a matter of 24-36 hours we had three or four calls,” said Boonville Fire Chief Steven Byers.
“He was able to get out of the swift water and had gotten up in the woods and had a hold of a group of trees and we were able to get him and the kayaks in the boat.”

It was a successful mission for first responders with no injuries.

“He did not have a life jacket on and we told him when we got to him that he was lucky to be alive,” said Chief Byers.

A few days later in Vanderburgh County, a man canoeing down Pigeon Creek flipped his canoe and again the creek — moving too swiftly, leaving him stranded, and authorities said it took an hour to find him.

“This water is very unpredictable it’s moving 40 -50 miles an hour in areas a lot of debris underneath the water and in the water you never know what’s under there. So we encourage people to as the water comes up stay off of it,” said Chief Byers.

But just Sunday evening in Dubois County, three more kayakers were rescued from the Patoka River.

“If you make the decision to get into that water, you’re putting your life at risk — and not only your life — but the life of the people that have to come get you,” said Chief Byers.

The decision to enjoy a Sunday afternoon kayaking on the Patoka River ended in a rescue.

“It’s extremely dangerous and unforgiving because you don’t know what you are going to encounter in that water,” said Chief Byers.

The unforgiving waters left no injuries but they did leave a reminder of the dangers of high water.

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