Lost, stuck kayaker rescued in Busse Woods

  • A kayaker who got lost and stuck while paddling in Busse Woods was rescued by Elk Grove Village firefighters Saturday night after a two-hour search operation.

      A kayaker who got lost and stuck while paddling in Busse Woods was rescued by Elk Grove Village firefighters Saturday night after a two-hour search operation. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2018

 
 
Updated 6/30/2019 7:07 PM

More than 40 first responders from Elk Grove Village and surrounding communities spent about two hours Saturday night searching the Busse Woods forest preserve for a kayaker who was lost and trapped in a muddy marsh.

The man eventually was located unharmed and was able to walk out of the area with the help of rescuers, Elk Grove fire Lt. Todd Rischling said.

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"His pride was probably hurt more than anything else," he added.

The rescue effort unfolded beginning about 8:50 p.m. Saturday when the fire department received a call about a stranded kayaker uncertain of his whereabouts. Rescuers were able to "ping" the man's cellphone to determine his general location on the north side of Higgins Road, between Grove 31 and Interstate 290, Rischling said.

Using techniques similar to those employed when someone goes missing in a flood, rescuers began searching by foot, all-terrain vehicle and by boat. They also used a thermal imaging camera atop the department's tower ladder to search for the lost man, Rischling said.

"Our guys worked smart and did exactly what they were trained to do," he said.

Once rescued, the man told officials he had been kayaking in the preserve since earlier Saturday afternoon. He was paddling through some channels on the north side of Higgins when he lost his bearings and eventually got stuck in the mud in a marshy area.

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