5 adults, 5 kids, 1 dog rescued Saturday night from sinking inflatable boat on Cahaba River


An afternoon boating trip on the Cahaba River took a scary turn when 10 people and a dog had to be rescued Saturday night.

Irondale Fire Chief Josh McDaniel said they received a call about 7 p.m. of stranded boaters on the river. The boaters – five adults and five children – were believed to be stranded somewhere near the back side of Pine Tree Country Club and across from the Grants Mill campus of Church of the Highlands.

The children, McDaniel said, were ages 5 to 13. One young adult had somehow become separated from the group and was in a different location.

The fire chief said the information they received was that the group – thought to be family and extended family – was in an inflatable boat that was taking on water. At the time they called for help, they were holding onto trees at the bank to keep from floating away.

Irondale police and firefighters responded to the scene, as did the Rocky Ridge Fire Department and Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies. Star 1 helicopter provide air support, using a search light to guided the ground troops to the stranded boaters.

First responders used a Utility Task Vehicle to go as far into the wooded area as possible and then had to walk the rest of the way in. They found four adults, five children and the dog in one location with the sinking boat and found the other young adult in another location.

All 10 people were able to walk out on their own. Two ambulances responded to the scene, but all were checked out on site and declined to go to the hospital.

The rescue was complete by 9:30 p.m.