Regional Desk – Rowelsburg, WV – A Maryland State Police helicopter crew rescued two kayakers that were stranded in the Cheat River yesterday morning.
Yesterday, at approximately 9:50 a.m., the Rowelsburg Volunteer Fire Department requested the assistance of the Maryland State Police Aviation Command to perform an aerial rescue of two individuals stranded on an island in the Cheat River near Seven Islands. The two kayakers, a father and son from Pittsburg, had kayaked to the nearby island to fish but became trapped when the water suddenly rose 3 feet over the course of 20 minutes and washed their kayaks downstream. A local swift water rescue team was on site, however, they were unable to reach the victims due to the speed of the water and a large amount of heavy debris.
Trooper 5, the Aviation Command’s helicopter stationed at the Cumberland Airport, was immediately dispatched. Once the aircraft arrived and located the victims, the aircrew assessed the situation and engaged in the rescue operation. The crew of Trooper 5, consisting of two pilots and two troopers, utilized the rescue basket to hoist the victims to the aircraft in two separate evolutions. Trooper 5 landed near the river where the victims were assessed, found not to be injured, and transferred care over to the Fire Department.
The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has served Maryland citizens since 1970, and operates a fleet of ten AW-139 helicopters from seven bases throughout Maryland on a 24/7/365 basis. Missions include medevac, law enforcement, search & rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment. The success of rescues performed by the Aviation Command depends a great deal on the cooperative effort of local fire, rescue, EMS, and law enforcement agencies.