Two kayakers rescued from the Kalamazoo River

KALAMAZOO, MICH. - A Battle Creek couple was rescued from the Kalamazoo River Thursday after they were stranded in a strong current while kayaking.

Ron and Lois Fields began their afternoon float in Ceresco and planned to stop at Bridge Park in Emmett Township.

Ron Fields said the trip, which they have made many times, was gorgeous until his wife struck the abutment at the 11-Mile Road bridge.

He said she was in the lead and was thrown in the water and the strong current under the bridge swept her into a large tree branch which was in the water and across about a third of the river.

Ron Fields said he paddled to the tree and pulled his wife from the water. Both of the kayaks were overturned and jammed into the log.

He said he retrieved his cell phone from a waterproof case and called 911 at 2:51 p.m. as they sat on the log.

Emmett Township police officers responded and used ropes and life jackets to bring the couple to shore. Both were back on shore by 3:30 p.m.

Police said while the river is shallow at that location, the heavy weekend rains made the current swift.

The couple were checked by paramedics from LifeCare Ambulance and were cold but not hurt.

"Up until that moment it was wonderful," Ron Fields said about the afternoon on the water.

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© 2017, Battle Creek Enquirer


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