Around 4:20 p.m. the Savona Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched for four people that needed to be rescued on the Cohocton River in Bath.
The incident unfolded near Scudder Road, and upon arrival – they found two males, and two females trapped on an island in the middle of the river.
Savona then request the swift water rescue team from Bath to the scene. The four started up the river where the water was calm on an air mattress and did not know the condition of the water downstream.
When they hit the shallow area and faster moving forward – the mattress was not sufficient to navigate.
“When they hit this shallower area the water was moving much faster, then there was a bend which pulled them to the far side, and then into the tree across an portion of the river making what is called a strainer, which is what the four people got caught in and luckily were able to climb out of it and get on the island. Strainers are very dangerous, and the water will rush under them and pull victims of them under water,” the fire department said in a press release.
Bath then called for water technicians from North and South Corning, who are part of The Steuben Regional Technical Rescue Task Force, Swift Water Rescue Team with Bath. They were requested for backup in case more help would be needed.
The four were eventually brought to shore without serious injuries.
“Great teamwork by all the departments and Bath Ambulance made for a successful outcome for what could very easily have been tragic. The four that were rescued ask for each of the technicians to come to the ambulance to thank them personally and said they all learned a big lesson on river safety. One should always use approved watercraft, survey the river before you launch, wear a life vest and dress appropriately. Also let someone know where you are going,” the department concluded.
Photos from the scene below by Blake Jackson: