Kayaker Rescued From Fordham Dam


A video taken by the Rockford Fire Department shows rescue teams pulling a kayaker to safety from the Fordham Dam.

Firefighters were called to the scene by two manufacturing workers nearby who say saw the kayaker get too close to the dam and then go under.

“Upon arrival there was two individuals that came from across the river,” said Rockford Fire Chief, Derek Bergsten.

The two individuals were, Jake Kaltved and Logan Bohnenkamp.  They were on lunch break when they heard cries for help from the Rock River.

“They immediately came over, they initially had dropped him a line for him to hold on to because in the bottom of the low head dam it is very difficult and the current pulling you underwater is very strong,” said Chief Bergsten.

The video shows how strong the currents actually are.  So much, that they exhausted the 46-year old victim fighting for his life in the cold water.  He held onto the line the witnesses threw out to him, until fire rescue teams arrived to the scene.

12 minutes later, the Rockford Fire Department was able to hoist the victim out of the water. The kayaker was then rushed to the hospital showing signs of hypothermia.  Chief Bergsten says those two workers likely saved the kayakers life.

“Call 911, get emergency responders coming then if you have some type of material you can throw or a rope or a life vest get that to him, so we can get there to him and remove them from the water.”

The victim is now at a local hospital in serious conditions.

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