Boy, 2 adults, and dogs rescued from boat on Kansas River

Published: Dec. 29, 2020 at 10:44 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The child, two dogs and two adults were stuck on their boat in the middle of the Kansas River after the rope broke.

The group was out duck hunting in East Topeka by Seward Avenue and Goodell Road just before 10 a.m.

Everyone in the boat told rescuers it began to flood with water after just a few minutes.

They were able to make it to the North side of the river and waited for help from Shawnee Heights Fire Department.

“It’s just part of the gig,” said Battalion Chief Justin Zuperku. “We try to train for worst-case-scenarios. Even though this one was challenging, it had some points in it, but we also try to accommodate for those.”

The group continue to wait in the cold rain because of the weight, weather, wind and river current -- rescuers were forced to make two trips. First they got the child and pets safely back to shore -- then went back for the adults to complete the rescue.

Zuperku said even with the weather and the terrain, they had it under control.

“The river is actually pretty low right now and so we had a little bit of challenge with just getting out there, getting the people back, but other than that -- it went pretty successful. We’re pretty happy, we’re pleased with it,” he said.

A successful boat rescue by the Shawnee Heights Fire Department means two adults, a boy, and their dogs are safe and sound. Crews responded this frigid Tuesday morning to a report the hunting group had become stranded along the Kansas River northeast of Topeka, authorities said.

The Shawnee Heights Fire Department responded around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday to the area of N.E. Seward Avenue and Goodell Road, where the incident had been reported. WIBW’s Rick Felsburg says firefighters had to go a quarter-mile west of the Seward boat ramp.

Initial reports indicated the individuals became stranded when their boat began taking on water. The individuals apparently made it to the north side of the Kansas River, where they were awaiting help. Apparently, the group was duck hunting when the rope to their motor broke, and they were unable to return to land.

The Shawnee Heights Fire Department had its rescue boat on the scene to help bring the stranded individuals to land on the south side of the river. Firefighters had to make two trips--bringing the boy and 2 dogs safely to land first. The boy was checked out by EMTs and was okay. Rescuers made a second trip and brought the two other adults back. Rescuers were forced to make two trips because of weight, weather, wind, and the river’s current.

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