By Clint Parker
Woodfin – Police and fire units of Woodfin were sent scrambling into action Friday (April 19) afternoon at around 4 pm as two unidentified men had authorities, in lights and siren mode, on the way to the Old Leicester Highway Bridge to check on their safety.
The two-man had turned themselves into a kayak salvage team as they looked to retrieve one of several kayaks that had been washed down the French Broad River from rising flood waters.
One of the men had rigged a repelling connection to the bridge and lowered himself down over the raging river’s water in an effort to recover a kayak that had gotten lodged against one of the bridge’s piers. By the time authorities had reached the location the man was already back up onto the bridge.
The man was allowed to retrieve the board he had already secured to a rope and closed one lane of traffic while the men recovered the board, but police remained at the scene to make sure they did not repel again off the bridge. No arrests were made, and authorities remind citizens that property is not more important than anyone’s life.
At least two other kayaks floated on past the bridge while the men recovered the one. A truck with a similar color kayak in the back was also seen down closer to the dam. Woodfin Police Chief Michael Dykes said that the two were not the owners of the kayak they recovered.