The Central Emergency Services Technical Rescue Team pulled a man off an island near Jim’s Landing early Sunday morning after his raft tipped and overturned.
A CES ambulance and rescue boat were deployed to the scene and the Russian River Response Team and Alaska State Troopers responded as well to the call that came in around 12:30 p.m.
CES Captain Joshua Thompson said he could not release the man’s name nor did he know the man’s age.
The man travelled roughly 100 yards downstream and was caught in a logjam, after his single-person vessel overshot the boat launch at Jim’s Landing and flipped, Thompson said.
“The water is a little slower there and that is probably the only thing that saved his life,” Thompson said. “In a (more) significant current you would probably be pushed under.”
Thompson said had the logjam been in the main current of the Kenai River, more force would have been on the logjam. While the water level of the Kenai River is high and moves rapidly during this time of year, the island was out of the river’s main current, he said.
“If you were to go into one you would probably not come out of it (on your own) alive any ways,” he said.
Once wrapped around the logjam, the man was able to pull himself onto a nearby island until responders could reach him, Thompson said.
CES’s Medic 3 ambulance arrived on scene 15 minutes after receiving the call, and while waiting for the rescue boat, devised a plan to retrieve the stranded man, he said.
In the mean time, The Russian River Ferry response team drove a small Zodiac boat to the island and made contact with the man, Thompson said.
“He had gotten himself on the island just unable to get back across the river without putting himself in danger,” Thompson said.
A rescue swimmer jumped out of CES’s boat to walk the man across the island to the waiting CES rescue boat, he said.
Once rescued and safely onshore, the rescued man did not report any injuries, Thompson said. The man was on a return trip from fishing along the Kenai River earlier that day when the incident occurred, he said.
“It went very well,” Thompson said. “It was a little different, not normal the day time rescue, (since) it was at night that made it a little more challenging, but over all it went it really well.”
There will likely not be an investigation into the incident as troopers were on the scene only to assist and make sure the man was alright, he said.
Reach Kelly Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.