01 Aug Beaufort Water Search and Rescue assist stranded kayakers
As I rounded the slight curve in front of Beaufort Elementary School on Saturday, I saw a Beaufort Port Royal Fire Truck and a Department of Natural Resources agent walking down the bluff. I could not help but stop to see what was going on. As I descended the hill to the marsh I saw an airboat at the edge of the mud because the tide was dead low. Then I saw two kayakers covered almost head-to-toe as the heat was baking the mud on their bodies. I did not need to be told what the scene was all about.
Apparently two upstate visitors were out in the creek stranded. Not being local, they did not realize how quickly the tide recedes in the creek between the Beaufort River. With no water around, one of them stepped out of his kayak and sunk into the mud almost to his waist and was smart enough to get back aboard and called for help.
I did not want to get in the way of those working so I did not get the details. That said, I assume they called 911 which dispatched the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department as first responders. I then assume they called the Department of Natural Resources which dispatched the all volunteer Beaufort Water Search and Rescue Squad which fortunately has an air boat that was able to slither across the mud and rescue our visitors.
No one was injured and the visitors were relieved. When driving one of the kayakers to his car at the downtown boat landing, I asked if, given this experience, they would visit us again. The response was quick and crisp, “Of course! Your folks are so friendly.”
I love to see people come together to help others. I can assure you that the next time the Water and Rescue Squad holds a fundraiser, I will be among the first in line to make a contribution.