NATCHITOCHES PARISH, La. (KTAL) — A Girl Scout group from Dallas learned first-hand about Louisiana first responders when they were rescued when their nine kayaks met up with a strong thunderstorm Sunday night.
The group of six juveniles and three adults planned for a peaceful float down Sabine Bayou to Cloud Crossing Campground in Natchitoches Parish Sunday evening. Instead, after leaving from the Louisiana Highway 126 boat launch on the Winn and Natchitoches Parish, they got a ride they’ll never forget, along with a situation in real time that called for their scouting skills.
After leaving, the kayakers encountered a strong thunderstorm, and failed to show up at the campground. People at the campground were expecting them, however, so when they failed to show up, friends and family members alerted authorities of the missing kayakers around 9 p.m. Sunday.
Deputies from Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s offices immediately responded, along with the U.S. Forest Service, the Bienville Fire First Responders and Advanced EMS, and rescue crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Crews searched throughout the night when they found the nine kayakers along the banks of Saline Bayou before daybreak on May 29. They were found by LDWF agents on foot with the assistance of a citizen on an all-terrain vehicle around 3:30 a.m.
The kayakers were found using their kayaks for cover from the elements. After the group was checked to make sure they were not injured by Bienville EMTs, LDWF agents were able to walk them out of the woods along the bank and to the Cloud Crossing Campground that was less than a mile away.