MCKEES ROCKS (KDKA) – Crews performed a chilly rescue on the Ohio River Saturday morning after two hunters capsized their boat and made a desperate swim to safety.
In all, they spent about 20 minutes in the water in freezing temperatures and they may be lucky to be alive.
Pittsburgh River Rescuers brought two hunters to safety in McKees Rocks after their boat sank in the Ohio River.
The hunters survived the ordeal, by swimming to a nearby, deserted island.
“We got a call from the county 911 center that a boat had capsized downstream, here on Davis Island, and that the boaters entered the water. They were able to safely swim to the island,” Pittsburgh Paramedics Assistant Chief James Holman said.
Davis Island is a small island on the back channel of the Ohio River, between Neville Island and Stowe Township. Authorities said the two men were riding an 11-foot boat to the island to hunt deer.
The hunters were not injured, but were extremely cold. Fortunately, they were rescued quickly, thanks to a cell phone.
“Luckily, they had a cell phone that still worked, whether it was in a plastic bag, or what. But it was very much, it would have been a very, very long day for them. They were both wet, but they did have insulated waders, and a lot of pretty heavy gear,” Holman said.
With water temperatures hovering around 45 degrees, along with the fact that water causes a human body to suffer tremendous heat loss, both men are very lucky.
“It’s a very good news story. The one fellow was a little concerned about the loss of an expensive shotgun, but realizes the value of his life, which is much greater,” Holman said.
The unidentified hunters likely won’t face charges, but they will be questioned by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.