The incident took place at the base of Balloon Dome, authorities said. Authorities said the kayaker reached a lower pool below the dome and was sucked under vertically. He tried to ditch the kayak, officials said, and made it most of the way out with his feet still inside.The kayaker was pulled underwater a second time, officials said, but he was able to break free. Authorities have not released the kayaker's name.

The California Highway Patrol sent a helicopter, which Anderson said found the kayakers on the San Joaquin River at an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet and miles from the nearest road.
The helicopter lifted the injured man to safety within 90 minutes. He was taken to Community Regional Medical Center. Anderson said the kayakers planned ahead by bringing the emergency device capable of sending a signaling even from remote places.