HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A father and son kayaking together on the Connecticut River on Saturday, when the father’s kayak suddenly flipped over.
Chicopee Fire Lt. Mark Pirog told 22News the father and son launched their kayaks in South Hadley at around 1 o’clock, and were heading down the river into Holyoke. The water was very cold, moving fast, and there were ice chunks all around.
The father flipped over, but was able to swim to a small island in the middle of the river. His son, Brandon Balathunis, tried to get to his dad but couldn’t; his kayak drifted down the river, until he made it to shore and called 911.
Brandon told 22News, “The water was really choppy. We got close to an island and there was a low hanging branch, it just sideswiped him and he fell right in the water. And luckily he was able to make it onto shore.”
The Chicopee Fire Department launched their rescue boat and brought the man back to dry land, where he was checked out by medics. No one had to be taken to the hospital.