2 kayakers rescued outside Fredericton

Men spent 3 hours on island trapped by fast moving river
Two kayakers were rescued after spending three hours stranded on an island. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Firefighters rescued two men who were stranded on an island in a river near Esteys Bridge, outside of Fredericton, on Saturday.

Edward White became stranded and surrounded by fast flowing currents, when his kayak got caught on plants and overturned.

A second man, Lindon Miller, also became stranded after his kayak flipped during a rescue attempt.

"We tried to get him off the island and the exact same thing happened," said Miller.

The two were stranded for more than three hours before other members of their group, including White's father and Miller's son, contacted fire crews to perform the rescue off Kingsley Road.

Fire crews responded around 1:30 p.m. and had to work in the knee-high - sometimes waist-high - waters of the river.

Friday's heavy rain contributed to the fast flow of the water, which the kayakers were not expecting to be so severe.

One member of the rescue crew who wished not to be identified said he'd never done a water rescue at this time of year before and that he'd never seen the water so high in August.

"Normally this is the sort of thing we do in the spring, or we use this gear for ice rescues," the man said.

'In that one instant everything went wrong'

Miller was also surprised by the amount of water in the river, but the strong flow is what made them decide to go kayaking in the first place.

"It was a good trip, but in that one instant everything went wrong," said Miller. "It's very powerful. A lot of water. Tomorrow it will be a different river."

Fire crews managed to secure a line from the riverbank to the island where they attached a rescue raft. After sending a single firefighter over to secure the site they transported the two men back over one at a time.

"We lost a kayak and a paddle, but we're all good," said White. "We were wearing life-jackets.

We'll be back, but with lower water."