Crews rescue stranded kayaker from river in Gaston County

BELMONT, NC (WBTV) - Crews rescued a man from the Catawba River in Gaston County after he got stuck on a pile of debris Wednesday afternoon.

The rescue took place along the South Fork of the Catawba River in Belmont near Armstrong Ford Road. Officials say the kayaker was pushed up against the dam as a result of the fast moving water from heavy rain.

Bystander Marcus Reid heard the man yelling for help.

"He was real loud and he was panicking," said Reid.

Retrieving the kayaker from the rushing water took efforts from multiple agencies. A representative from the Charlotte Fire Department told WBTV the whole process took about an hour and half. Crews did not want to use the ladder to rescue the man due to the angle of the ladder and the rushing water.

"With water running that fast, it's just a dangerous situation," said Rob Cannon, a battalion chief with the CFD .

Firefighters used a boat to drift down to the man and retrieve him from the debris that collected in the river.

The kayaker was taken to the hospital to get checked out after being rescued, however he was not injured.

WBTV's Sky 3 flew over the area and captured footage of the rescue taking place. A broken yellow kayak could be seen stuck in a pile of debris in the river and a man could be seen nearby with his head just above the water.

According to the Belmont Police Department, all traffic was stopped on Armstrong Ford Road at the bridge as the water rescue was underway.

Cannon warned residents to use their best judgement when attempting to go out in the river and ensure that you have the proper training and expertise to avoid a similar incident.

"The best situation is just to to stay out of fast-moving water," Cannon said.

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