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Entangled paddlers rescued from Courtenay River

Eight paddlers were rescued from the Courtenay River leading to the Courtenay Estuary Tuesday after two kayaks and a boat became entangled.

Eight paddlers were rescued from the Courtenay River ­Tuesday after two kayaks and a boat became entangled.

Two kayaks paddling as part of a group became caught up on a log at a marker buoy, and when an outrigger moved in to help, it also became pinned, said ­Bronwen Beedle of Comox ­Valley Search and Rescue.

It occurred on the Courtenay River, which starts at the confluence of the Puntledge and Tsolum Rivers.

“They were caught against what we call a stringer, a log that was hung up, and then the outrigger got caught against the kayaks — it was a really strong current,” she said.

The call for help came in just before noon.

“We got called in because the fire department couldn’t get to them,” said Beedle.

Fire and police were at the scene, but the fire department doesn’t do deep-water rescues, which requires what’s called a swiftwater rescue training course, said Beedle.

No one was hurt “but there were a couple of wet people,” she said.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com