LAGRANGE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) Two Indiana Conservation Officers rescued six kayakers who got lost on Pigeon River in LaGrange County early Monday morning.
The Lagrange County Sheriff’s Department received the 911 call just after midnight Monday.
The caller was complaining that she couldn’t feel her feet, her group didn’t have a light and they were exhausted.
Dispatchers sent Indiana Conservation Officers Jake Carlile and Kyle Buchanan out to help.
According to the officers, the six kayakers had no idea where they were and that stretch was the most isolated part of the river.
So, with the help of the sheriff’s department, who pinned their location each time the kayakers called, they were getting closer. However, they had another obstacle: there wasn’t an easy access point on foot.
Rescuers eventually found them at about 3 a.m., huddled together at the shore.
“Their problem was more of less just that they had no idea how much they had to continue and given the cold, wet, dark conditions, they were just at the end of their physical ability,” said Carlile.
According to Carlile, one woman was suffering from early stages of Hypothermia.
“Most people think of Hypothermia as being in the middle of December because it can happen so fast. In the summer months, the water temperature and the air temperature is still low enough that it just takes longer. For them, the water temperature was probably in the mid 70s. Air temperature was in the low 70s, but they were exposed to it for 12 or 13 hours,” said Carlile.
Officers said the group started on the river at about 2 p.m. Sunday.
By the time they found them, they only had about three-quarters of a mile to go.
One of the other kayakers had a minor seizure while waiting for a ride. He refused medical treatment.