COTTONWOOD – Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) deputies were dispatched on November 24, when a kayaker became trapped in the Verde River near Thousand Trails Park outside of Cottonwood.
The 57-year-old woman was knocked off her kayak and got her leg suck under a rock in a rough patch of moving water. Another kayaker floated down to the stranded woman and called 911, explaining to the dispatcher that the woman had a cold temperature and was having trouble staying afloat, according to YCSO.
The Verde Valley Fire District and sheriff deputies arrived on the scene and saw the injured kayaker on her side with only her head above water. Deputies were able to reach her in the waist-high water, keeping her head above water while trying to free her leg, which was unsuccessful because her leg was trapped between two large submerged boulders.
Firefighters made a rope line to anchor the woman to prevent her from floating further down the river in the rescue, and a paramedic entered the water to assist in pulling away the boulders ultimately freeing the woman’s legs.
The woman, who was not identified, was in the water for at least 25 minutes and was immediately treated for hypothermic shock.
“Although wearing a life jacket, she still had to struggle throughout the incident to keep her head above the water due to the current,” stated the YCSO press release.
She was transported to a local hospital with a below normal body temperature, but is expected to recover.