A missing kayaker on the Clarion River was found late Saturday night after being separated from his group earlier in the day.
Elkland Search and Rescue was requested by the Ridgway-based State Police to assist them with a missing male kayaker on the Clarion River, west of Ridgway at 10:50 p.m. Saturday. The individual became separated from his group and did not return as nighttime fell. The group called Elk County Emergency Services 911 Center requesting help for the missing individual.
Once on scene, Elkland Search and Rescue established a command post at the Arroyo Bridge Boat Launch parking area. Within minutes, Elkland had a team of two kayakers, equipped with rescue equipment, hypothermic gear and nighttime illumination equipment in the water heading down the river in search of the missing individual, heading towards the Hallton area along the Clarion River.
Other Elkland personnel hasty teams were directed to check hiking paths along the waterway while others were placed on roadways and also along the river to assist the rescue kayakers if needed. The Ridgway Volunteer Fire Department was also dispatched for additional manpower and also to prepare to put canoe teams in the water further north in the Portland Mills area, if needed.
The missing male kayaker was located along the hiking trail by the Elkland SAR hasty team. As nighttime fell in the area, he made his way off the river and proceeded to a camping area where another group of canoe riders were camping. These campers warmed the missing individual until rescuers arrived. Elkland personnel placed warm clothing on the individual, and using ATVs, transported him back to the command post.
The missing individual reportedly misplaced his paddle on his way down the river, causing him to fall behind the group of individuals he was traveling with. Without the use of paddles and the direct contact with the cold water, he became cold, wet and his kayak also became waterlogged slowing his travels.
Pick up a copy of the Monday, May 21, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.