Kayaker rescued from Wilson River thanks to state trooper, nearby resident
Posted on May 31, 2019
TILLAMOOK COUNTY, OR (KPTV) – An Oregon State Police trooper helped rescue a kayaker from the Wilson River on Thursday. Oregon State Police say the trooper happened to be nearby when a report of two kayakers overturned and stuck in the Wilson River was called into Tillamook 911.
Canoers in Tillamook survived a harrowing experience on the Wilson river. For nearly an hour, they fought the rapids, rocks, and a rope that had them trapped. Brian Turney and his buddies thought they were just taking a quick ride down a section of the Wilson river, little did they know things would take a turn for the worse.
On Thursday, Brian Turney Told FOX 12 this dropoff was no joke. “The canoe turned sideways and tipped us out,” Turney said. He freed himself from the dangerous rapids, but his friend Monte Walker wasn't so lucky. “I should be dead there aint no doubt about it,” Walker said.
Walker said the rope connected to the canoe wrapped around his ankle several times trapping him and dragging him. He clung to a rock and Turney was able to get to him just enough to hold out an ore for him to hang onto. “I was losing strength after about 45 minutes and it wanted to suck me right back in,” Walker said. “I know that if he let go I would watch him die right there,” Turney said.
When the trooper arrived, he found a kayaker halfway submerged in the rapids and holding onto a paddle that was held by the other kayaker. A rope connected to the kayak was tangled around the man’s foot, pulling him down the rapids. A nearby resident brought out a rope and helped the trooper cut the other cord and pull the man to safety.e“Wasn’t for him I’d be dead,” Walker said.
The kayaker was severely hypothermic, so the trooper wrapped him in a space blanket and multiple yellow blankets until medics arrived. Medics packed the man over a chute of rapids and out a trail to their vehicles.
“Timing is everything,” OSP wrote on Facebook. “Very lucky to have help so close by or this harrowing event could have ended very differently.” Now, both of them and the canoe are pretty banged up. But they're just incredibly grateful to be alive. They said their story is a good reminder to always wear a life jacket or even helmets.
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Oregon State Police - May 31 at 7:46 PM ·
Yesterday, Sr. Trooper King happened to be nearby, when a report of two kayakers overturned and stuck in the Wilson River calling for help, was called into Tillamook 911.
When King arrived a kayaker was at bottom of a rock, halfway submerged in the rapids, holding onto a paddle being held by the 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 that was further down the rapids.A nearby resident brought rope and Trooper King tied a bowline around the individual in water. The resident then held anchor at the top of the rope, while Trooper King went to his car and retrieved his machete and med bag. When he returned, they cut the rope and pulled the man to safety.
The individual pulled from the river was severely hypothermic, so Trooper King wrapped him 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. Very lucky to have help so close by or this harrowing event could have ended very differently.