Alabama kayaker’s rescue caught on video along Cahaba River

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SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. – A kayaker in Alabama survived for two days on a riverbank after breaking his ankle.  His cellphone died, but he did have a tablet and he was able to send a Facebook message to his family.

The video courtesy of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office shows the rescue of 49-year-old Buford Crumpton.  Crumpton suffered a broken ankle while kayaking on the Cahaba River near Helena, ABC3340 reported.

“Mr. Crumpton was able to get a message out from his tablet to his family of his approximate location. The only communication he had was his tablet. I’m so glad he had a signal out there,” said Debbie Sumrall of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Sumrall says after teams searched the area, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency used its helicopter to remove Crumpton from the riverbank, flying him to a staging area where paramedics were ready.

“They just literally lowered down a basket and a trooper put him in the basket and they lifted him up and within moments he was at the hands of an ambulance and firefighters,” said Sumrall. “It went pretty quickly. I think we got the message about 9:40 [Monday] morning and within the hour or the next hour we were able to extract him and get him to medical treatment.”

Crumpton was taken to Shelby Baptist where he was treated for his injuries and dehydration.

Sumrall says people can learn from an incident like this.

“Well he was alone, so when he injured himself, he was reliant on communicating his location with his family. He was so fortunate he had a signal from his tablet and he could get his location out to us. Otherwise that’s a long stretch of river to look for someone,” she said.

Crumpton’s family members say he’s in good spirits and could be released from the hospital Tuesday.

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