Home Local News Hitchcock Creek Rescue Mission Ends in No Injuries, Amazing Survival Story

Hitchcock Creek Rescue Mission Ends in No Injuries, Amazing Survival Story

ROCKINGHAM — Weather reports indicated very little chance of storms Sunday in Rockingham when Jeff and Wynston Tyler, along with other family members, left for a pleasant afternoon of kayaking Hitchcock Creek, but by day’s end the situation had changed tremendously.

Jeff Tyler and family left the Roberdel access point of Hitchcock Creek around 1:00pm Sunday afternoon, and by 4:00pm severe storms began to impact the area.

“Once we noticed the storms clouds rolling in, we got to the shore and under a bridge to try and wait it out,” said Jeff Tyler.

Severe thunderstorms ceased for a moment, and under the impression the storms had ended, the Tyler family returned to their kayaks to continue their journey downstream to get to their cars, which were parked further along the creek in Cordova. The worst of the storms, though, had not yet come.

Once they were back in the water, Jeff said the next storm, “came up so fast.”

“We came up on a log, a little ways out of the water,” he said. “It just took us to it, swept us under it, and the kayaks kept going and we were holding on to the limbs.”

When asked how long they were stranded, hanging on to branches while storm water rushed downstream, Wynston Tyler responded, “Forty-five minutes.”

It did not take local police, fire, and EMS that long to respond, however. While the others had lost their cell phones in the incident, Wynston had found a way to make the call to 911.


“Luckily, I had my phone in my pocket inside a zip-lock bag,” Wynston Tyler said.

Jeff added, “It was hard to get a connection, but he finally got through.”

The zip-lock bag kept the phone from getting wet, which was the only way they were still able to reach first responder units via 911. Within minutes of the call, local police, fire, and EMS arrived on the scene to conduct the rescue mission.

No one was injured, though Jeff Tyler did note that his wife was “pretty shook up” but that “she would be okay”.

Jeff and Wynston both touted local police, fire, and EMS for doing a “great job.”

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