LINN COUNTY, OR (KPTV) – A farmer rescued two people off an island near Bates Bridge after their raft popped Monday evening, according to the Sweet Home Fire District.
Cody Duckett and Sarah Hymel had just bought a brand new raft and were taking it for a ride that ended up much longer and later than they anticipated.
Just about a mile from farmer Kurt Clark’s house, the raft popped, leaving them stranded on an island.
“We had nowhere to go,” said Duckett. “I started yelling help as loud as I could.”
Clark heard their screams and had watched them float by about a half hour before, so he knew something was wrong.
“Time was of the essence, I could tell it in his voice and I did the best I could. I ran as fast as I could,” he said.
Clark realized he wasn’t going to be able to get to them by foot, so he went back for his canoe.
“It’s come into good use, I’ll tell you that,” Clark said.
And that was a good thing because all the while, search and rescuers were having trouble getting to them in their isolated spot.
“It was crazy. It was definitely cold, we were both wet and cold, mosquitoes all over,” said Duckett.
Duckett and Hymel say they were stranded for more than three hours and it would have been even longer if not for Clark, who actually paddled them to the rescuers.
“If somebody’s there that can help, I think it’s just the right thing to do,” Clark said.
Duckett said, “We came out lucky, for sure.”
Now, they say they’re grateful to be unharmed and that their story should be a lesson to plan ahead and be prepared.
Fire officials report that the rafters were not hurt and friends drove them back to Corvallis.
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