ST. MARYS — Three young men wanted to try out their survival skills early Saturday morning and found out they have a lot to learn.
The St. Marys Fire Department was called to a location behind 339 Hickory St. just after midnight after the three men lost control of their canoe in the rain-swollen St. Marys River.
The names of the young men weren’t released but their ages were 22, 26 and 33.
“We had a report that we had three, possibly four individuals that were in the river behind the (water) treatment plant and one was clinging to a pole and the other one was possibly missing. We responded a medic and a rescue and when we got on location there were multiple St. Marys police units on the scene already. There was a total of three victims. One self-rescued, one was clinging to a tree and then upstream a little bit there was one clinging to a pole and he had a flashlight and that’s how we were able to see him,” said Matt Schrolucke, a firefighter paramedic with the St. Marys Fire Department.
Rescuers had to deal with strong currents.
“Two units from the fire department here made entry into the water and the current was so strong. The first time they shot right by them and the second time they made contact with them and then by the time we got contact we got some (personal flotation devices) on them and then our boat got into the water and then we were able to retrieve both victims without any problems,” said Schrolucke.
The trio was treated for hypothermia but released from the hospital.
“They told us that they were trying to test out their survival skills and, honestly, they failed at that,” added Schrolucke.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.