Fort Benning Fire Department
Reported: April 19, 2014
Reported by William P. Pagels, District Chief

FORT BENNING, GA — After very heavy rains the Upatoi Creek was running 16 feet above flood stage when six untrained kayakers entered the water and were rapidly over come by the current. One was swept away in his boat and was able to land safely downstream. Two capsized immediately and lost their boats in the current. One self-rescued to the shore and the other was stuck in a tree in the swift water about 80′ from shore. In an attempt to rescue his friend from the tree, a third capsized and lost his boat but managed to self rescue. The forth successfully returned to shore.

The Fort Benning Fire Department responded to the scene and successfully tethered a rescuer who deployed into the creek far enough to throw the ResQ-Disc to the stranded victim. The victim was successfully belayed to shore with mild hypothermia but no injuries. I have personally responded to several water fatalities on Fort Benning and am ecstatic to report a life saved! Thank you!

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