Group rescued from river

Published 11:16 am Monday, April 25, 2011

After spending several hours stranded along the banks of the Conecuh River, three area residents were rescued uninjured Wednesday night near Riverview.

Escambia County Sheriff Chief Deputy Mike Lambert said the trio was reported missing April 20 after their boat failed to arrive at a designated point.

“We got a call from a family member telling us that the three people were supposed to have arrived at the landing in Riverview but hadn’t made it,” Lambert said. “The three had put their boat in the river at Parker Bridge and were supposed to be floating down to the landing in Riverview. The family said they had had one contact with them and didn’t believe anyone was injured just that they were stranded.”

Lambert said a group was gathered to begin efforts to search for the missing boat and occupants.

“We had members of the Escambia County Sheriffs Department, the Escambia Rescue Squad and the Game and Fish Division ready to start the search when we got a call saying they had returned,” Lambert said. “We called off the search at that time.

“But another call got the search started up again. The family called and said they had been given bad information and the group was still missing. So, we gathered everybody back up and went on with the search.”

Lambert said crews searching for the group launched they watercraft at the Conecuh River Landing in Riverview and headed up stream in their search.

“We went up the river a ways and found the three folks stranded on a sandbar,” Lambert said. “They were hungry and cold, but they were not injured.”

Lambert said the trio stated they had underestimated the amount of time it would take to travel from Parker Bridge to Riverview.

“They didn’t realize how long it would take to make that trip,” Lambert said. “The boat they were in was only being powered by a trolling motor and they said the battery had gone dead during the trip.”

The group, who Lambert did not identify, was rescued around midnight, Lambert said.