By Clint Parker
Alexander – French Broad Firefighters were alerted to a possible drowning on Wednesday afternoon when a caller notified a Buncombe County 911 operator that they had spotted a kayak overturned in the French Broad River near the Alexander Post Office.
While nobody was found, it took about an hour to recover the watercraft as a firefighter had to wade out into the cold, swift water to reach it.
“The kayak is sitting here in the [station’s] bay,” French Broad Fire Chief Matthew Shelton told the Tribune. “Nobody was around it [and] nobody knows anything about it.” There are no identifying marks found on the vessel, so Shelton said it must be private.
Earlier this year, two people, one of whom rappelled off the Old Leicester Highway/Craggy Bridge, worked to rescue one of several kayaks that had been washed down the river from a kayak rental business during a flood. One of the wayward vessels had become lodged against one of the bridge’s piers and the unidentified man rappelled down, tied a rope to it, and he and his cohort hoisted the kayak up.
Shelton said if the person who lost this last runaway kayak can call the station and identify the kayak, they can come and claim it. The station phone number is 828-683-3651.