Anchorage Firefighters Rescue Pinned Kayaker

Members of the Anchorage Fire Department rescued a kayaker pinned against a fallen tree in the storm-swollen Eagle River Sunday afternoon.

When crews arrived, the man was struggling to keep his head above the water, Capt. Rick Bayless told The Anchorage Daily News.

After receiving the call, firefighters on a jet boat rushed to find the man and discovered him holding his head out of the water with one hand on his kayak paddle.

Bayless said that since the river was running so high and fast, it was difficult to free the man.

A chainsaw was used to cut the log into pieces and free him.

Bayless grabbed the man by his lifejacket after the log was cut and helped bring him to shore.

The man was hypothermic when he was removed, but improved by the time he arrived at the hospital.

The rescue took about a half hour and involved more than a dozen fire department personnel.