CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Fire Department says two kayakers were rescued after their boat capsized in the Chicago River.
A tour boat arrived to in time to get kayakers out of the water.
The couple says their rented kayak capsized on the Chicago River near the Roosevelt Road Bridge.
CBS 2’s Suzanne LeMignot reports this is not the first time this incident has happened.
The fire department says the man and woman were wearing life jackets when the call came from the tour boat that the pair needed help.
The captain of the “Evening Star” tour boat, operated by Shoreline Sightseeing, pulled the woman, man, and their dog from the water before a U.S. Coast Guard boat arrived on the scene.
“The kayak rentals have grown and been more popular and as a result, they’re renting boats to people who are untrained and unqualified to be on the water,” stated Chip Collopy, co-owner of Shoreline Sightseeing.
Collopy tells CBS 2 that so far this boating season the company has done ten rescues. He says his company has done as many as 40 rescues during one boating season in the past.
A staff member from REI Kayak Rentals says this is the first time a rescue has taken place. They say they have been operating for less than one year.
The staffer also says the rented kayak ran into a sidewall, saying that’s when the renter used a paddle to back up and the kayak capsized.
The Chicago Fire Department responded to the scene, as well as the tour boat crew who pulled life preservers from the water.
The REI kayak rental staff member told CBS 2 all kayak renters must sign a liability waiver and also receive basic paddling instructions when they go out on their own.