Shelby Township Fire Department solves mystery of flipped-over kayak

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published September 4, 2020


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Fire Department received a call at 9:36 a.m. Aug. 30 that a kayak had been spotted flipped upside-down in the Clinton River near Yates Cider Mill.

Firefighters were informed that the kayak was upside-down and stuck in a strainer — trees and branches that have fallen into the river — and the caller had stated that it was unknown if the kayak was occupied or not.

John McCoy, Shelby Township Fire Department assistant chief, said that when firefighters arrived, they confirmed that a kayak was upside-down in the river where the caller had described.

“Our first crew that arrived on scene was Engine 5 at 9:38 a.m., and additional crews were en route to assist. The Engine 5 crew confirmed there was a kayak at marker No. 3 along the river, upside-down. Fire crews deployed our swift water team members that were on duty for a possible water rescue,” said McCoy.

When crews made it to the kayak and were able to turn it over, they discovered a wallet and identification in the kayak.

McCoy said that when they retrieved the items, they immediately contacted the owner at the listed address.

“Our dispatchers were relayed the information from the ID found, and the police were sent to the address on the ID. At the address, a family member stated the owner of the kayak did lose his kayak on the river several days prior (to) our call, but he had been home since. Fortunately, the owner of the kayak was located, he was not injured and there was no missing person,” said McCoy.

The kayak was pulled ashore for the owner to pick up, along with his wallet and ID.

The Fire Department’s equipment was cleared from the scene at 11:16 a.m.