Couple rescued from Pawtuxet River after their kayak flips

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — It was a scary moment for an elderly couple on Sunday after their kayak flipped over in the Pawtuxet River; a day of fun turned into a water rescue.

“I was driving down as seen fire trucks, on the other side of that corner over there. Then when I was driving over here I seen an ambulance and a couple of fire trucks,” Wilfredo Rivera said.

Warwick firefighters responded to the area of O’Keefe Lane and Jefferson Boulevard shortly after noon for a report of a woman in the water.

“One of the parties kayaks went perpendicular to the river, and was jammed up against a fallen tree,” Warwick Fire Battalion Chief Bill Wilson said.

Heather Colardo lives on Riverside Drive. She said she was doing yardwork when heard a whistle.

“I thought it was a bird.”

That’s when she realized it was a cry for help instead.

“That’s when the firemen came into my backyard and I was like, oh boy it was somebody calling for help,” Colardo said.

First reponders launched boats a half mile down O’Keefe Lane, right behind Riverside Drive and quickly found the couple, pinned by a fallen tree.

Warwick Battalion Chief Bill Wilson said it wasn’t an easy rescue, but they were prepared.

“We knew we had an access point that op point where we could put the boat in by hand. And that’s exactly what we used,” Wilson said. “Previously, we were able to get out boats into a river quickly find the parties, and get them, get them out in a fairly short amount of time.”

Colardo told 12 News, this isn’t the first time this has happened on this part of the Pawtuxet River.

“About six years ago I had three people knocking on my front door, stating that their canoe tipped over at like 10 o’clock at night,” she said.

According to Wilson, the couple is okay and nobody needed to go to the hospital.

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