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Two canoeists pulled from Grand River | News

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Two canoeists pulled from Grand River

WALKER, Mich. (WZZM) -- Some people see the flooded Grand River as an opportunity for adventure; but once they are out in their canoes, kayaks and jet skis, they find themselves struggling, in trouble, and desperate for help.

Police and firefighters have made several water rescues over the last few days, the latest Monday afternoon along Indian Mounds Drive near Johnson Park.

A Grand Rapids couple, she in her 50s and he in his 60s, was clinging to a tree limb after their canoe flipped and floated away in the fast current.

"I knew they were going out and I told them they were crazy, it's too dangerous," says friend Bruce Failing. "He thought it was safe."

Several people heard the couple yelling for help. A passing pedestrian flagged down a police car.

Kayaker Nate Teachout paddled over to investigate. "I just went over to investigate," he says. "They tipped over in a canoe, lost their boat, and were holding on to some trees. I don't know how long they were in there but they were really cold."

First responders in a rescue boat brought the pair to ambulances on Indian Mound Drive. They were taken to the hospital suffering from hypothermia.

"Hypothermia is tricky," says Teachout. "It can hit you really fast. They weren't able to make an effort to get out of the water. He kind of pulled himself out a little, but I think she was in shock."

None of the people saved from the river during the flood had serious injuries but firefighters say someone could easily drowned in these conditions. They urge people to stay off the water.