Helicopter plucks stranded NC kayaker from river

Jul. 05, 2013 @ 05:54 PM

Authorities say rescuers from the N.C. Highway Patrol used a helicopter to pluck a marooned kayaker from the rain-swollen Haw River.

They say 22-year-old Samuel Gilliham of Raleigh spent the night of July 4th stranded on a small sliver of land in the middle of the river about a half a mile south of the U.S. 64 bridge after capsizing his boat.

A news release says Pittsboro's fire chief called for help after the swift water prevented rescuers from reaching Gilliham. An initial rescue attempt by air was called off after an early-morning fog bank rolled in.

Gilliham was rescued during a second attempt about 7:30 a.m. Friday when the state aircrew used a line dangling from the chopper to lift the kayaker to dry land.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.