CRAWFORD COUNTY, MICH. – Emergency responders were sent to the AuSable River in South Branch Township of Crawford County on October 25, 2018 at about 1 p.m. to help a distressed kayaker.
A 68- year-old woman had had become stranded in the river, and had spent over an hour in cold waist deep water struggling with her kayak. Luckily, another group of kayakers found her and helped her out of the water and onto the riverbank.
Unfortunately, the river in that area is at the bottom of a steep bank which was too much for the exhausted and hypothermic woman to climb.
Using a collapsible litter kept in a MSP K9 vehicle, troopers partnered with local firefighters and carried the woman up the bank and out of the river bottom. She was then transported to the hospital to receive treatment for hypothermia.
Those who use the river this time of year should remember that the water is very cold and poses the threat of hypothermia for those exposed to the elements. It’s a good idea to take to the river with a partner. If no partner is available, let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return. And of course, always wear a personal floatation device.