Six rescued from York River after kayaks capsize during boat race

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crews from the James City-Bruton Volunteer and James City County Fire Department were assisted by several regional partners to locate and rescue six persons from the waters of the York River after an adventure racing group of about 30 members called to report several kayaks had capsized near Croaker Landing
Crews from the James City-Bruton Volunteer and James City County Fire Department were assisted by several regional partners to locate and rescue six persons from the waters of the York River after an adventure racing group of about 30 members called to report several kayaks had capsized near Croaker Landing. (Courtesy JCC)

An outdoor adventure took a turn for the worst Saturday when a group of boat racers capsized their kayaks near the York River State Park.

According to a county news release, crews from the James City-Bruton Volunteer and James City County Fire Department were assisted by several regional partners to locate and rescue six persons from the waters of the York River after an adventure racing group of about 30 members called to report several kayaks had capsized near Croaker Landing.

The 911 call was placed at 9:39 a.m., after the group had participated in a combined bicycling, boating and orienteering event, the release stated. 

When fire crews arrived, they found three people in the water near the Croaker Landing boat ramp and an unknown number of others missing. A rescue boat was immediately launched and the three were pulled from the water.

According to the release, the VCU LifeEvac 3 medical helicopter was on scene within minutes and located three more persons in the water, guiding rescue crews to them.

In total, three of the six people rescued required medical treatment from being in the cold water for up to an hour. They were transported to Williamsburg Sentara Regional Medical Center and are in stable condition.

A search of the river was conducted for other group members, with assistance from the US Coast Guard, Virginia Marine Police, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, West Point Volunteer Fire Department, Camp Peary Fire Department and York County Fire and Life Safety, the release stated. 

Several other members of the racing group were found stranded in various remote locations along the river and all were eventually found.