Kayaker screaming for help, clinging to tree branch in Clinton River rescued

Woman caught in strong current


ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – Oakland County deputies rescued a kayaker from the Clinton River who was clinging to a tree branch and screaming for help Saturday. 

Deputies were able to rescue the woman around 4 p.m. and pull her safely to the shore after receiving calls about somebody screaming for help.

When deputies arrived to the 700 block of Riverbend Drive, they spoke to  construction workers who were working at the residence.  The workers heard a woman screaming for help and asked the homeowner to call 911.

Deputies searched the area and found a woman in the Clinton River, clinging to a tree branch on the east side of the river bank.

The woman, 58, and her boyfriend, 57, had been kayaking on the Clinton River, near Livernois Road and Avon Road. Both are residents of Birmingham. 

They reportedly struck a submerged log and capsized.  The river’s current was swift and the water level was high due to recent heavy rains.  The male kayaker was able to swim to safety on the west bank of the river.  The woman was caught in the current and was able to cling to a tree branch, preventing her from being swept further downstream.

Deputies deployed a swift water rescue device and pulled the woman safely to shore.  

The woman had been in the water for about 45 minutes.  She suffered from hypothermia and had cuts and abrasions on her feet.  

She was treated by paramedics from the Rochester Hills Fire Department at the scene.  

The victim refused further medical treatment.  The male kayaker was uninjured.  Both kayakers were not wearing personal flotation devices.  

The kayak was swept downstream and never recovered.

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