Local/State

Several rescued from rain-swollen waters

Friday, July 05, 2013

More than a half dozen lives were saved in three separate water rescues across the area Friday.

Five people were rescued from the Neuse River Friday afternoon, as recent rains have left water levels high and the water running fast.

The five people, including three children, were riding inner tubes down the river around 2:15 p.m. when the tubes got caught in a tree.

Rescue crews were able to successfully pull all five from the water near the Bedford neighborhood, just south of Falls Lake Dam.

Around 5:30 p.m. crews rescued a husband and wife from the rain-swollen Haw River in Chatham County. The two were in a canoe when it overturned, separating the couple. Both were safely brought to land.

Also on the Haw River, crews used a helicopter to pluck a marooned kayaker early Friday morning.

Officials said 22-year-old Samuel Gilliham of Raleigh spent the night of July 4th stranded on a small sliver of land in the middle of the river about a half a mile south of the U.S. 64 bridge after capsizing his boat.  

A news release says Pittsboro's fire chief called for help after the swift water prevented rescuers from reaching Gilliham. An initial rescue attempt by air was called off after an early-morning fog bank rolled in.  

Gilliham was rescued during a second attempt about 7:30 a.m. Friday when the state aircrew used a line dangling from the chopper to lift the kayaker to dry land.

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(Copyright ©2014 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved - The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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