Duck hunters rescued from river Saturday

Published 1:22 am Tuesday, December 11, 2018

At 5:30 a.m., Sat., Dec. 8, the Opp Fire Department was dispatched to assist the Hopewell Volunteer Fire Department, Advanced EMS and the Covington County Sheriff’s Department in rescuing two duck hunters that capsized their boat on the Conecuh River.

Opp Fire Chief Cory Spurlin reported that both of the hunters were safe and had no injuries despite being in the water for almost an hour.

“They were very fortunate to have no injuries,” Spurlin said. “Early in the morning that water gets pretty chilly and they were in there for about an hour, so they are very lucky.”

Spurlin said that their boat hit something in the water and capsized.

“Because of the rain, the hunters drifted about a mile away from their boat,” Spurlin said. “One of the hunters kept his cell phone on him and out of the water and stayed on the phone with 911 the whole time they were out there.”

The hunters lost a little bit of equipment, but Spurlin said that they were able to recover the boat.

“We were able to get the boat back,” Spurlin said. “But they lost some of their equipment in the water.”

With duck season in full swing, Spurlin said that hunters need to be careful when they are out in the water.

“One big thing that people don’t think about is wearing your weighters in deep water,” Spurlin said. “That isn’t the case in this situation, but it is definitely a big thing to keep in mind.”

Spurlin said that weighters can be filled with water and drag the hunters under the water.

“It’s just like with us when we go out to respond to a water rescue,” Spurlin said. “We can’t go out there with all of our gear on because we will sink.”

Hunters should keep their personal floatation devices nearby.

“Always wear your personal floatation device when you are on the water,” Spurlin said. “I can’t stress that enough. Also, make sure you know where the area you are hunting in.”

Spurlin said that it was a job well done by all departments involved.

“It is always nice to have a successful rescue,” Spurlin said. “But it’s even better when you get to work with all of these other departments.”