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33 kayakers rescued after strong winds hit Tennessee cave tour group


Dozens of kayakers have been rescued after a jaunt on the water turned painful during strong winds.

Thirty-three people, including children, were leaving the boat ramp on Monday to paddle to Nickajack Cave when strong winds blew some into the water, according to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials.

The group climbed to a river bank near the cave and called for help.

Emergency crews arrived but even had to fight the weather themselves before getting into the water.

One of the rescue boats was blown over by strong winds while it was still attached to a trailer.

Fortunately, the boat was not damaged and the crew was able to get on the water, where they were able to return the kayakers to shore despite “extremely rough water conditions.”


On Monday, 33 people, including children, left the boat ramp to paddle to Nickajack Cave, but strong winds blew some into the water. Facebook/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

Officials said no one was injured in the disaster.

Rescuers credited all kayakers with wearing life jackets and contributing to the successful rescue and survival.


Emergency crews arrived but even had to fight the weather themselves before getting into the water.
Emergency crews arrived but even had to fight the weather themselves before getting into the water. Facebook/Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

“This is a great example of the importance of life jackets,” said TWRA Boating Officer David Holt.

“With water temperatures in the mid-50s and high wind speeds, life jackets are a key safety factor.”



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