Search and Rescue distress call update

Sheriff John Anderson announced the successful rescue of an injured kayaker – hoisted out of the high country this afternoon.

The victim, whose identity is not releasable at this time, was part of a 5-man Kayaking Team that started a river journey down the San Joaquin River-Middle Fork near Devils Postpile earlier today. The group made it as far as Balloon Dome when a distress signal through a registered messaging device was sent out by the party.

The Madera County’s Office of Emergency Services was alerted at 11:58 a.m.

Knowing how rugged and dangerous the terrain in this area can be, the Sheriff’s Office requested aerial support from the California Highway Patrol.

By 1:08 p.m., H-40 located the group and, with the help of a medic on board, was able to hoist the injured kayaker out.

H-40 landed at Batterson Station near Highway 41 (just north of Oakhurst) to place the injured man on board, and then transported him to California Regional Medical Center.

His injury and condition are not known at this time.

Sheriff Anderson says from the moment our office was contacted to the time the kayaker was located and hoisted to safety took roughly 90 minutes. Sheriff Anderson credits the emergency messaging device for the swift completion of today’s Search & Rescue operation.

More information about today’s mission will be released as it becomes available.

-Madera County Sheriff's Office