Richmond Fire busy with water rescues at the James - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Richmond Fire busy with water rescues at the James


The Richmond Fire Department preformed three water rescues in less than 24 hours at the James River. At its peak, the river was almost 15-feet high and proved to be too much for some experienced kayakers.

On Thursday, the Richmond Fire Department was called to the river twice. The first time, a kayaker was stuck in the water but didn't end up needing help. The second, a paddler was swept out of his boat coming down the Hollywood Rapids and needed rescuing.

Unless you have a high-water permit, the river is off limits past nine feet high. Both kayakers had the permit, but even for them, the river proved to be too much.

Wednesday night, four people were pulled to safety. Two women and one man were walking on the pipeline when they fell in. A passerby tried to help but needed help too. The victims were clinging to trees when water rescue showed up.

No one was hurt but the water level won't go down anytime soon.

This weekend, temperatures will be in the 90's but the Richmond Fire Department warns that the water level will go down a lot slower than it went up.

"As tempting as it's going to be to go into the water it's too dangerous," said Lt. Mike Oprandy with the Richmond Fire Department.

The water isn't expected to go below ten feet until after Sunday. Unless you have a permit, if you're in the water you could be ticketed or risk drowning.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly