Bend firefighters came to the rescue Wednesday evening of a Deschutes River kayaker who hit a large rock and was left stranded on it about 300 yards upstream from the Bill Healy Bridge.
Crews were called to the area around 6:50 p.m. after the kayaker struck the rock, “wrapped the kayak around the rock and was stranded on it,” said Battalion Chief Dave Howe.
A rescue swimmer was sent out to ensure he was okay, and another kayaker towed him and the rescuer to shore, Howe said, adding that he was wearing a life jacket.
The fire department had crews on both sides of the river, as well as downstream safety personnel, in case anything went awry, but Howe said the 10-minute effort went smoothly and the man, whom he did not identify, was unhurt.
Howe later reminded water recreation participants that “moving water is deceptively powerful, and the unforeseen can happen at any time.”
“Be prepared when you venture out on the river with a personal flotation device, and a helmet if you are going to be in the rapids, and know your limits,” the battalion chief said in a news release.