Four kayakers rescued on Conn. River

  • Holyoke and South Hadley District 1 firefighters rescued four kayakers on the Connecticut River on Sunday.  HOLYOKE FIRE DEPARTMENT

Staff Writer
Published: 6/1/2020 4:38:28 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — Fire crews rescued four kayakers on the Connecticut River near Beachgrounds Park on Sunday after windy conditions and a strong current left them unable to return to shore unassisted.

The kayakers were downriver from the dam when they called emergency responders for help, said Holyoke Fire Capt. Kevin Cavagnac. Though they were kayaking in the same area, the group actually consisted of two separate pairs who did not know each other.

The kayakers were all middle-aged adults, according to Cavagnac. No one was hurt, though two ambulances were on standby at the scene.

The Holyoke Fire Department and South Hadley Fire District 1 worked in tandem to bring the kayakers back to shore, and the rescue took about an hour.

Cavagnac said that he noted a strong wind when he arrived at the nearby boat launch, adding that it was too windy to use a drone. While the current was also a factor, Cavagnac said that the wind was the main issue stranding the kayakers.

The area below the dam is a very popular fishing spot, Cavagnac said, though a shallow portion makes moving boats a less common sight. But on weekends, he said, there are often several kayakers in the area.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at

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