Sheriff calls in air support to rescue injured kayaker in high country

Madera County Sheriff John Anderson announced Tuesday, June 18 the successful rescue of an injured kayaker. Michael Tate, 33, of Sacramento, was hoisted out of the high country at an elevation of nearly 8,000 feet.

Tate was kayaking down the San Joaquin River late Tuesday afternoon when he reportedly went over a 10 foot waterfall and hit bottom, injuring himself.

The accident happened just south of Devils Post Pile. This location is not far from where, in October 2008, Search & Rescue teams with the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, Mono County Sheriff’s Office and Yosemite National Park found the wreckage of the plane flown by millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett.

This particular area, while located in Madera County, is so remote that the only way to access it by ground would be through Mono County.

However, it would have taken ground crews several hours to reach the injured party, so the Madera County Sheriff’s Office contacted California Highway Patrol for air support. Two hours later, the sheriff’s office received word that H-40 successfully extracted the injured kayaker and transported him to an area hospital in Mammoth.

Tate is expected to recover from his injury.