Current pulls three kayak racers into big barge

October 21, 2008 at 2:31 am Leave a comment

A kayak race in the choppy waters of the Hudson River turned terrifying Sunday for three competitors who were pulled by the current into the path of a hulking barge.

The three kayakers were participating in the Mayor’s Cup New York City Kayak Championships, a 26.7-mile race around Manhattan that began at the North Cove marina near Battery Park City.

Shortly before noon, the three kayakers were separated from the pack, and the surging current pushed the three boats against a massive barge traveling the river, police said.

“The current was pretty strong. It just pushed them under the barge,” said Chris Briggs, 47, who was taking photographs in a boat alongside the kayakers.

“One of the men got himself out of the water [and onto the barge] and used a rope to rescue the others,” Briggs said. “You could tellthey were struggling to get out.”

He was helped by rescuers from the FDNY and the NYPD, who tracked the swamped boats via GPS devices in the kayaks.

Once onshore, the kayakers were checked out by paramedics and were released, officials said.

The race, which awards $5,000 to the winner, draws nearly 100 kayakers who paddle from the marina up the Hudson River and then south on the East River

  BY EDGAR SANDOVAL & JONATHAN LEMIRE
DAILY NEWS

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Entry filed under: Get Wet, Manhattan. Tags: , , , , , .

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