A kayaker who continued downstream without his friends after dark Tuesday night was ultimately rescued by local fire departments.
The man, whose name was unavailable on Wednesday, was kayaking in the area of Mahoningtown on the Mahoning River when the North Beaver Township Volunteer Fire Department received a call for help to rescue him, according to North Beaver fire chief Paul Henry.
Henry said the man's friends had gotten out of the stream near the intersections of Routes 108 and 18, "but he kept going."
The man went under the bridge, around a junkyard, around the New Castle sanitation plant and into the Shenango River, Henry said. He was behind the electrical power plant in West Pittsburg when Wampum firefighters using their boat got him out of the water. By then, it was about 11 p.m.
Henry said his department initially got the call around 10 p.m. when it had become dark outside.
He believes the friends all entered the stream near Covert's Crossing in Union Township. He estimated that the man rowed his kayak a distance of about eight miles.
He said the man really didn't think he was lost or in trouble when he was found, Henry said. "He was in his kayak the whole time."
The fire departments of Wampum, Taylor, Neshannock and New Castle all responded, and Wampum's and Neshannock's boats were used.
"Everything went well for a change," Henry said, expressing relief that the effort had a happy ending.