A San Jose man was rescued from a bank of the Smith River’s North Fork on Saturday morning after becoming too ill to finish a float down the river.
Mike Reed, 54, and his cousin, Chuck McKinney, 59, of Crescent City, began a trip down the North Fork on Wednesday, launching near Low Divide Road, McKinney said.
Reed became violently ill and unable to retain water or food by Friday afternoon and couldn’t go on any farther, McKinney said.
“He became dehydrated and incoherent,” said McKinney.
McKinney left Reed on a bank of the North Fork about a mile and a half north of Stony Creek with water, food, dry clothes and a sleeping bag.
McKinney made it to his truck in Gasquet around 6:15 p.m. Friday and called authorities.
Del Norte Search and Rescue arrived as daylight began diminishing, so the search was halted until the next morning, said search and rescue coordinator Terry McNamara.
Reed was eventually found around 10 a.m. Saturday after Search and Rescue members hiked through thick brush along Stony Creek. He was too weak to move, so the U.S. Coast Guard was called to airlift Reed to the Gasquet Airport, where he was then transported to Sutter Coast Hospital.
Reed was treated and released from the hospital and finished his drive back to San Jose on Monday, McKinney said.
McKinney lauded SAR and the Coast Guard for efforts to rescue Reed.