17 rescued after multiple capsizings on Blue River

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FREDERICKSBURG,Ind. (July 18, 2015)–Indiana Conservation Officers along with rescue crews from Harrison and Washington Counties were called to the Blue River in Fredericksburg around noon on Saturday.

They were initially called to a report of a man trapped in his canoe/kayak against debris that had piled up in the water.

While on their way to that call emergency crews were told there were multiple subjects in the water and along the shore from capsizing.

The person from the initial call was rescued by another canoeist.

At least 17 people ranging in age from 8 years old to adult were rescued from either the shore or in the water.

Rescuers say they were hampered by three things, the number of victims, terrain, and water conditions.

The canoeists/kayakers had left for their trip from Old Mill Canoe Rental, about 2-3 miles upstream from where the incident occurred.

Investigators say a large tree downed by recent weather had almost completely blocked the River channel.  High water and swift current made the obstruction extremely treacherous, touching off multiple capsizings.

Indiana Conservation Officers urge those heading out on the water to always check water levels prior to starting out, be familiar with the waterway you are going on , and always wear a life jacket.