Man rescued from Upper Truckee River after kayak becomes pinned under tree |

Man rescued from Upper Truckee River after kayak becomes pinned under tree

A kayaker was rescued after his boat became pinned under a tree on the Upper Truckee River.
Courtesy Lake Valley Fire Protection District

Another day, another person saved from the Upper Truckee River.

A kayaker was pulled from the river near Portal Drive in Christmas Valley Sunday after his inverted kayak became pinned under a tree. Andrew Sessions, fire mechanic for Lake Valley Fire Protection District, was off duty when he heard a call for help.

Sessions headed toward the river and found a man trying to help his friend, who was pinned under the tree, Lake Valley Fire Chief Tim Alameda told the Tribune Monday. Apparently the kayaker had been inverting his boat in order to squeeze underneath downed trees and floating debris.

Sessions and the man’s friend were able to secure the kayaker as medical responders arrived on scene to help remove him from the river. He was transported to Barton Memorial Hospital with injuries, Alameda said, adding he could not go into more detail about the injuries.

Sunday’s rescue is the most recent in what is becoming a common occurrence on the Upper Truckee River, which is flowing much faster than normal after a record breaking winter.

In late May, South Lake Tahoe resident Elys Clark was kayaking with her husband when they were thrown from the boat after hitting some underwater debris. The cold temperature of the water hit Clark instantly. In retelling the story to the Tribune, Clark described the incident as the “most amazing physical shock” she has ever experienced.

Clark shared her story shortly after Minden resident Stephanie Waggoner, 49, died from injuries suffered after falling from her paddleboard.

Alameda said a dog recently died after attempting to swim across the river.

“It’s such a dynamic situation,” the chief said in describing conditions on the river. “The strainers that you are going to encounter are going to change hourly.”

Given the current conditions on the river, Alameda said he would recommend people opt for the lake rather than the Upper Truckee.

“We would really like folks to stay out of the river,” he said.

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