Rescuers Save Kayakers


Le Mars Firefighter Kevin Ernst, left, and Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputy and member of the Plymouth County Dive Team, Pat Heissel, right, assist a stranded kayaker after she, and two others had capsized while floating down the Floyd River Sunday afternoon.

(Le Mars) — It was deja’ vu for rescuers as a second water rescue was performed Sunday afternoon retrieving stranded kayakers from the Floyd River.
It was just last Saturday evening when the first rescue took place. This time, the call came in at about 2:20 p.m. when the Le Mars Police Department, Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department, Plymouth County Dive Team, and Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office along with the Le Mars Ambulance Service pulled four
people to safety. The incident happened to the northwest of the Le Mars Walmart store. Rescue teams were on both sides of the river assisting with the rescue. As like last week, the kayaks were floating down stream when they came in contact with a tree that had fallen and is in the middle of the river, causing the kayakers to be thrown from their kayaks. The three
kayakers were able to hang on to the fallen tree, until rescuers had arrived.
Members of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department and Plymouth County Dive Team were able to reach three victims, two minors, a small boy and a young girl, and an adult, identified as Julie Heerde. All of the victims were carried to the safety of the shoreline where police officers, and other firefighters, and sheriff’s deputies were on hand helping pull the stranded
victims with the use of a rope. A fourth victim, Jill Rutledge, was also rescued, but was upstream from the other three. The victims were given a medical examination by the awaiting Le Mars Ambulance Service. Aside from being scared, all the victims did not appear to have suffered any injuries. Officials at the scene say the Floyd River is surprising to people as they underestimate the river’s strong currents. The rescue was completed within 45 minutes.