GILBOA — Fire and police departments from Putnam County along with several good Samaritans helped rescue a woman who had fallen out of her kayak in the Blanchard River on Sunday afternoon.
At 12:33 p.m., the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a missing woman who was kayaking in the Blanchard River near Gilboa. Casandra Brinkman, 27, of Ottawa, was kayaking with friends when she became separated from the group. She became entangled in brush and a logjam, causing her to become separated from her kayak. The river was elevated and the current was swift because of recent heavy rains.
A volunteer on an all-terrain vehicle was able to locate her about a quarter mile west of Road 5. A water rescue boat from the Continental Fire Department was placed in the river and was able to rescue Brinkman from the river. The boat sustained damage from metal debris in the river, and will need to be repaired before returning to service.
Brinkman was conscious when she was rescued, and she will be “OK,” the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office reported. The Sheriff’s Office also confirmed that Brinkman was not taken to the hospital by EMS or LifeFlight, though it is unclear if she sought treatment on her own accord.
Assisting at the scene were the Gilboa, Continental and Ottawa fire departments, as well as the Putnam County Dive Team, Ottawa EMS, Putnam County EMS, the Ottawa Police Department, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Mercy LifeFlight, Ruhe’s Ag Service Airport and several area residents who volunteered to help.
A Facebook post from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office described the situation as “the definition of teamwork, with the success it can achieve.”
“We can’t thank everyone enough for their assistance,” the post read. “We had several people that just came out on their own to help. This is what Putnam County is all about.”
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @Bush_Lima.