EXCLUSIVE: 3 rescued after being lost on the Cahaba River for hours
Irondale, Ala —
After several hours of being lost on the Cahaba River three people stepped ashore from a tubing trip gone bad around 1:15 Friday morning.
Moments after a man finished carrying his friend with a knee injury to a nearby ambulance he told ABC 33/40's Patrick Thomas everyone was "pretty good."
Vestavia Fire Captain Scott Phillips says the group began tubing down the river around 4 p.m. Monday before one intertube burst.
"There were several rapids coming down and I think it just tore one of them and it popped basically, and they had two left and three people. At that point being dark and they were tired and they didn't know where they were. They just stopped where they were at," Phillips said.
Captain Phillips says the call for help came in around 10 P.M. Soon after Birmingham Police, Cahaba Valley and Irondale Fire crews responded. In addition, a drone was released into the night sky.
Vestavia Rescue boat crews hit the water using only the lights on their heads and a GPS location sent by a person who would later be rescued.
"If they have a cell phone and we make contact with them, we get them to send a pindrop or a screenshot of their location. We can pretty much know exactly where they are at."
Captain Phillips said one thing that helped was the three tubers didn't move after they reported being lost. Because of that they were able to locate the three stranded people. He also said there was only a little bit of battery life in the cell phone that made the phone call to first responders. Had that not been on, it might have been a lot more difficult to find out where these three people were stranded.