Team Effort Rescues Man After Kayak Capsizes

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 | Washburn County Sheriff's Office |


(News Release) -- An interesting afternoon in Washburn County yesterday. We received a call at approximately 1230 that an 81-year-old male had capsized his kayak on the Namekagon River, and was in distress clinging to a log. This section of the river is very remote, near the Wilderness Road area.

At approx. 1:00 P.M. Sheriff's Deputies located the man and his daughter, still clinging to branches and the male was immersed in water. Communication was established with the victim, Who was wearing a personal floatation device.


Civilian kayakers came along before the emergency responder watercraft. The civilians helped the male assume an upright position and placed him in their kayak to get him out of the water and reduce effects of hypothermia.


Members of National Park Service, Minong Fire, Chicog Fire, Spooner Fire, Shell Lake Fire, Wisconsin State Patrol and Sheriff's Deputies responded to the rescue.

A flotilla was created and the victim was floated for approximately 1 mile to an extraction point, where Minong Ambulance administered medical treatment and transport.

A great team effort by emergency responders and a huge thanks to the civilian kayakers who helped in this rescue. The victim's PFD undoubtedly saved his life in this incident!

Per Mike Richter, Washburn County Chief Deputy.



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