Kayaker hospitalized after friend pulls him from flooded James River

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A kayaker is recovering in the hospital after he overturned on the James River Monday afternoon.

Captain Dyer with Richmond Fire told 8News they were called to Belle Isle at around 4:50 p.m. Crews arrived to find a man in distress on the river.

Dyer said the male kayaker overturned and was caught in hydraulics of the river. A friend of kayaker struggled in an attempted to keep him above the water.

The man was eventually removed from the river to the northeastern end of Belle Island by the friend, Dyer said, who then started CPR with the assistance of a bystander. Dyer cited the actions of the friend and bystander as the reason the kayaker survived.

The man was transported to a local hospital by ambulance where he regained a pulse and is currently being treated, Dyer said.

Reports indicate the river was above flood stage when the kayaker overturned.

According to 8News Meteorologist Travis Michels, weekend rainfall to the west had funneled down into the local streams and creeks, which then lead into the James River. That means we will see the James cresting at or above flood stage until Wednesday. 

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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