Iowa kayaker swam for his life in Brushy Creek
LEHIGH, Iowa (KCCI) - Brushy Creek’s water isn’t new territory for Ben Wescott, of Webster City KCCI’s Kayla James reports. He spends many days out there for hours at a time. So Thursday’s nearly three-hour trip wasn’t out of the norm. But what was out of the norm was when his kayak flipped over with his lifejacket stuck inside. He was in the water, half a mile from the shore, with no one else in sight.
“I swam on my back, that’s the only way I can swim in the direction of the tree,” Wescott said. “Occasionally flipping over to see if I’m going in the right direction.”
But that swim wasn’t easy with the branches in the water – and the waves. He went 400 yards until he reached a tree. One hand clung to a branch – the other he used to type a Snapchat message on his water-filled phone asking his friends to call for help. He blew on his phone’s speaker so he could dial 911.
Conservation Officer Bill Spece was one of two DNR officers to respond.
“My first thought was, thank goodness we had the boat hooked up and we gotta’ get there and get him out,” Spece said.
Once they got to the ramp, it took three to four minutes to reach Wescott. Wescott was relieved.
Spece says Thursday’s winds caused 2-foot waves making it difficult for kayakers.
As for Wescott – his message is simple – life jackets:
“No matter how geeky it may seem, it is definitely worth it, having it on,” Wescott said.
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