08/17/14 — Kayakers rescued after flipping

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Kayakers rescued after flipping

By John Joyce
Published in News on August 17, 2014 1:50 AM

Emergency responders from Wayne and Johnston counties helped rescue four kayakers on the Neuse River Saturday after two of the watercraft overturned.

Grantham Volunteer Fire Department Chief Richard Proctor said two people were in the water for about an hour before rescuers got to them.

No one was injured.

"They put in at Richardson Bridge in Johnston County and were coming downstream. They were just about at the county line at Mill Creek," Proctor said.

Christy and Ben Roth, along with Richard Ritter and Sarah Sayer, were kayaking down the river when two of the crafts struck a submerged log.

Roth and Mrs. Sayer were thrown into the water.

"They managed to get a hold of the log and held on until we got there," Proctor said. Both were wearing life vests.

Ritter and Mrs. Roth were able to call for help using a cell phone.

Johnston County's Bentonville Fire Department and the Johnston County Sheriff's Office responded with their boats, as did Grantham Fire Department and Arr- Mac Water Rescue. Wayne County EMS and the Wayne County Sheriff's Office also responded.

None of the victims required medical attention, Proctor said.

This is the second water rescue in the same area of the river in two weeks.

Proctor said people need to know that the water is running higher and faster than normal right now and there can be logs or other obstructions submerged and out of sight.

"People who don't necessarily have a lot of experience don't need to be on the river, and if they are they need to be prepared," he said.

Having the proper equipment, such as flotation devices and a cell phone or other means of communication can make all the difference, he said.