The woman who lost her kayak in the Chattahoochee is fortunate she didn’t lose a lot more

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Earlier this week, News 3 told you about an abandoned kayak a swift water rescue team found in the Chattahoochee River.

Here is the rest of the story. And it is a cautionary tale about the river and its power.

Monday night, with the river at high flow, Brittney Parker and a friend started a journey down the Chattahoochee whitewater course.

“I knew I was in too deep when I heard the rapids,” she said.

It was the first time she had ventured onto the course, though she had kayaked on the Coosa and other rivers. Her first mistake is she was in a kayak designed for flat water and not rapids.

She did some things right, which included wearing a life jacket and not running the river alone.

She got through the first rapid but was swamped in the second one. 

“I was going over a rapid, rowed my line and when it broke and it was time for me to get on another wave,” she said. “I didn’t see the one that was already forming coming for me. And it went over my head, sunk my kayak. Washed me out.”

With help from her partner, she got to safety. But the boat ended up on the rocks between the 13th and 14th Street bridges more than a mile downriver.

Tuesday morning her kayak was abandoned on the rocks between the 13th and 14th Street bridges. Columbus Fire and EMS responded and found no one in the river and only the boat. They pulled it to the side.

Late Thursday, she found out who has her kayak and should get it back soon.

She knows how lucky she is.

“I am fortunate I didn’t go under and hit my head on a rock and get knocked out,” she said. “I am fortunate I had someone there to help me and make sure I was OK. I am fortunate that I didn’t drown. There are a lot of things that could have happened. I am very lucky.”

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