According to Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder, Saturday, June 10, 2017 at approximately 9:10 pm, a call came to dispatch advising that 2 adult female kayakers approximately 30 years old, who had put in at Laurel had capsized near the Duck Creek Bridge. Emergency responders arrived and determined it was too dark to safely launch the Sheriff’s Office rescue boat. Rescuers discovered later that one of the women had made it to shore and the other one was stranded on a log jam in the middle of the river. For a while she was able to communicate with rescuers via cell phone.
After losing phone communications, Help flight was requested in order to get a view of the stranded kayaker’s status. It was determined that Help Flight would not be able to safely affect a rescue at that time.
Rescuers decided it would be safer to wait until daylight to continue rescue efforts.
A Help Flight Pilot with ties to the National Guard was aware of National Guard helicopter training going on in our area. Contact was made and a National Guard helicopter equipped for nighttime operations responded to the scene, was able to land close by and rescue the woman from the log jam at approximately 2:30 this morning.
Both women received medical attention. No further information as to the extent.
Agencies involved include the Sheriff’s Office Billings Fire, Help Flight and the Montana National Guard. Thanks to all who assisted.