Stranded kayaker rescued by two fellow boaters - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Stranded kayaker rescued by two fellow boaters

The boaters tell 19 Action News Reporter Brian Duffy their story. (Source: WOIO) The boaters tell 19 Action News Reporter Brian Duffy their story. (Source: WOIO)
LAKE ERIE, OH (WOIO) -

Two men rescued a kayaker off Lake Erie Monday afternoon. It happened about a mile off shore near Huron.

According to police, Avon native Keith Riegelsberger and Hap Carlson, of Milwaukee, WI, found the boater clinging to his overturned kayak. The boaters were traveling to Bay Point Marina in Marblehead for vacation when they spotted him.

"I looked again and it happened to be a kayaker who had fallen out of his kayak and was waving his paddle at me," said Riegelsberger.

Carlson threw the kayaker a line with a life cushion attached. Riegelsberger threw out an anchor. The kayaker had tethered himself to the kayak, but they cut him free and pulled him onto the swim platform.

"It was one or two words at a time. He was pretty groggy and very weak," said Carlson.

"His speech was so slow and his motor skills. We tried to pick him up, but he was slow moving, like he was stuck in a frozen position," said Riegelsberger.

Officials say the victim's boat overturned Sunday near Kelly's Island and he had been hanging on in very rough lake conditions for about a day. He even drifted about 15 miles in the high waves. His kayak was destroyed when it smashed into the rocky sea wall along Sawmill Creek's shoreline. 

"He was just white, and he was very shriveled up, and he had obviously been in the water a very long time," said Carlson.

Riegelsberger and Carlson helped the victim from the platform onto the boat and helped him warm up inside the cabin. Then they called the Huron Police and a rescue crew met them at Sawmill Creek Resort Marina Dock.

The victim has been hospitalized with severe dehydration.

Copyright 2014 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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