Rescuers trudge through waist-deep water to find two lost kayakers, Florida officials say

A kayaking duo’s trip out on the water was unexpectedly extended when they got stranded in a Florida river, officials said.

Emergency responders received a call about a pair of kayakers lost at about 7:15 p.m. Nov. 7 on the Ochlockonee River, according to a Nov. 8 Facebook post from Bradfordville Fire & Rescue. Rescuers from various local agencies responded to aid in the search around Iron Bridge Landing, where the pair was said to have been, officials said.

The responders placed a boat in the water at first to search the area, but downed trees made it too difficult for them to navigate the river, officials said. So their rescue operation shifted to a new mode of transportation: on foot.

Rescuers got off the boat and trudged through waist-deep water, “crisscrossing the river” to look for the pair, officials said. An hour later, responders realized the location they were searching may not have been accurate to where the lost kayakers actually were, according to the post.

While one group of responders waded through the river, others initiated sirens and called out to the missing people along the riverbank, according to the post.

With the help of a helicopter flying over, the pair of kayakers was located about a few miles north of where rescuers initially searched, officials said. The kayakers were beached on the sand of the river, according to officials.

Using a “giant tree” that was toppled over, rescuers crossed the river to reach the stranded kayakers, according to the post.

After finding the two, they were checked for any injuries and given blankets and coats to warm up, officials said. They were transported across the river in their kayaks, where medical personnel with stretchers awaited them, according to the post.

The rescue operation ended around 2 a.m., the fire rescue said, and both kayakers were in stable health.

Bradfordville is about 10 miles northeast of Tallahassee.

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