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Rescue boat aids river race paddler in distress

July 31, 2015 at 4:43 a.m. | Updated July 31, 2015 at 4:43 a.m.
Jefferson City firefighters work to locate and give aid to a paddler suffering from heat issues Wednesday.

The timing for having a rescue boat on the Missouri River on Wednesday couldn't have been better for an MR340 racer suffering from the heat.

According to reports from the Jefferson City Fire Department, a call came in around 1:50 p.m. that a racer, a male in his 40s, was in a three-person boat and suffering from overexposure to the heat.

The location of the boaters was difficult to determine due to spotty cell phone reception because of the terrain.

The Fire Department had put its rescue boat in the water a short time earlier to perform a spot check of the area along the Noren Access, and to let racers know they were there if they needed help.

When the medical call came in, the rescue boat crew went on down the river.

It turned out the racers had brought their boat on shore about two-and-a half miles east of the Mokane access.

The firefighters got the patient onto the boat and took him to the access where an ambulance from Callaway County took the man to get medical treatment.

Fire Chief Matt Schofield said Wednesday's unfortunate incident is one reason why it's important for the department to have a presence at special events where there is potential for life-threatening circumstances.

Schofield said it allows the department to respond as quickly as possible and ensure the safety of all involved.


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