Experienced kayakers recommend to stay out of trouble - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Experienced kayakers recommend to stay out of trouble

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Kayaker Justin Harris has seen it time and time again.

Inexperienced boaters, going further down the river than they should and ending up in trouble.

"It happens all the time and it's actually a shame because the guys that know what they're doing, they come out here on a regular basis, we're afraid in the long run it's going to make us look bad," said Harris.

Monday's rescue hit a little closer to home as Harris actually attempted to help the three men before their boat overturned and jack-knifed between rocks.

"We talked to the canoers who were rescued, they didn't want to appear on camera but they tell us they were hoping to stay in one of the calmer portions of the river, but instead they lost control and ended up in the rapids," said Harris.

Rescue crews ran into a snag of their own -- they lost their boat's engine after hit it rocks. They were able continue the rescue with paddle rafts and get to all three stranded boaters. Harris says the rescue could have been prevented.

"Not only do they have no business being out here but also they didn't do their homework beforehand and didn't really know where they were going and anyone who is experienced in white water paddling knows that's the first thing, developing a float plan," said Harris.

But David Shipp, who has been kayaking on the James for eight years, says it could have been worse. At least these boaters were wearing life jackets -- something required by law when the river level is above five feet.

"It's easy to make a mistake even if you think you're pretty good and you can hit a rock and all of the sudden you're in the water and even though the water might not be deep it's still powerful," said David Shipp.

With the treacherous work environment, this is not the first time rescue squad boats have been damaged. The fire department tells us they have back up boats and engines for this very reason.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Police say teen who searched for missing pal was his killer

    Police say teen who searched for missing pal was his killer

    Thursday, April 19 2018 4:56 PM EDT2018-04-19 20:56:14 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 3:01 AM EDT2018-04-20 07:01:15 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mike Balsamo). Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina, left, speaks next to Deputy Joana Warren outside of the sheriff's homicide bureau office in Monterey Park, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Los Angeles County sheriff's investigato...(AP Photo/Mike Balsamo). Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina, left, speaks next to Deputy Joana Warren outside of the sheriff's homicide bureau office in Monterey Park, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Los Angeles County sheriff's investigato...
    Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators say a 16-year-old who was part of a search party looking for a missing high school sports star led the group to discover the boy's body but investigators suspect he was...More >>
    Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators say a 16-year-old who was part of a search party looking for a missing high school sports star led the group to discover the boy's body but investigators suspect he was the person who fatally stabbed him.More >>
Powered by Frankly