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State trooper rescues distressed kayaker

Photo: Oregon State Police

A state trooper happened to be nearby when a pair of kayakers overturned on the Wilson River this past Thursday, May 30. The emergency was reported to 911 and the Oregon State Police trooper went into action.

The trooper arrived to find a kayaker at the bottom of a rock, halfway submerged in the rapids, holding onto a paddle that was held by another kayaker. A rope from the kayak was wrapped around the partially submerged kayaker’s foot and was pulling him into the white water by the kayak further down the rapids.

A nearby resident brought rope and the trooper tied a bowline around the individual in water. The resident then held anchor at the top of the rope, while the trooper went to his car and retrieved a machete and a medical bag. When he returned, they cut the rope and pulled the man to safety.

The individual pulled from the river was severely hypothermic. He was wrapped in a space blanket and multiple yellow blankets until medics arrived. Fire personnel, from Tillamook Fire & Rescue packed the hypothermic individual over a chute of rapids and out the trail to their vehicles.

“Timing is everything” a statement from OSP said. “Very lucky to have help so close by or this harrowing event could have ended very differently.”