Beaver hunt turned water rescue

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 26, 2022

What started out as two teens and a man hunting turned into a water rescue on Wednesday.

Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman stated that his Emergency Communications Center received a call at 6:32 p.m. on Wednesday that a man that was stranded on a log in the flood waters.

Deputies and the Valley Township Fire Department were dispatched to that location, finding the male on a log and brush pile in the Scioto River, just north of the State Route 348 bridge at State Route 104. Valley Township Fire Department contacted the Portsmouth Fire Department’s Swift Water Rescue Team to respond, as well as the Morgan Township Fire Department who took incident command.

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Two teens and a 21-year-old, all Mennonite males, were hunting for beaver and the 21-year-old was swept away in the flood waters while in a kayak.

Piketon and Waverly fire departments responded with watercraft to assist in the rescue. The Portsmouth Fire Department Swift Water Rescue Team made several rescue attempts, but due to the force of the water, were unable to reach the victim.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources responded to the scene with a jet boat. Two ODNR officers, assisted by a Portsmouth Fire Department Swift Water Rescue Team member, were able to reach the victim and bring him to shore just before midnight

Once the rescue team reached the shore line the victim jumped from the boat and ran to the rescue squad for warmth. He refused to be transported to the hospital.