Group of Kayakers Escape Catastrophe in Skunk River

By Ellis Codjoe, June 25, 2019

Two capsized kayaks in the Skunk River spawned a rescue effort from emergency crews early Tuesday morning.

The Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office received a call at 1:10 AM of the overturned canoes. Four people took two kayaks and entered the Skunk River at Highway 63 near the Oskaloosa Waterworks plant around midnight.

One of the kayakers swam to shore and walked to a nearby farmhouse to get help. Two others were able to reach the Glendale River access on Oxford Avenue.

One kayaker was still missing. The Oskaloosa Fire Department and New Sharon Fire Department assisted with the call and launched rescue boats.

The final individual was found around 3:15 AM, safe on land. The Oskaloosa Police Department, the Mahaska County Dispatch Center and the Mahaska Health Partnership ambulance service offered assistance.

The Sheriff’s Office used this incident to remind all who wish to travel on the river to be extra safe. The high water levels should prompt an extra degree of caution. River goers are also encouraged to only boat during daylight hours, wear life jackets and avoid drinking alcohol.

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