Kayaker ‘self-rescues’ from river


XENIA — A man kayaking in the Little Miami River during Wednesday night’s heavy rain performed what fire officials are calling a “self rescue” after he reportedly overturned.

According to Xenia Township Deputy Chief Greg Beegle, crews were dispatched to the area of Kil-Kare Raceway shortly after 9 p.m. when bystanders on the shore lost sight of the kayaker — Tim Straka.

“They heard him yelling … and then they couldn’t hear him yelling anymore,” Beegle said.

Crews were trying to stage a rescue site in the area of Trebein and Dayton-Xenia roads but Straka — age and place of residence unknown — had already passed by and made his way out of the water.

“The next report was he was out of the water in the parking lot of Superior Hyundai on Heller Drive talking with the sheriff’s deputy,” Beegle said. “We assessed him. He appeared to be totally fine.”

Beegle said the weather conditions — heavy rain and win — were less than ideal for kayaking.

“I got soaked just trying to connect the truck to the boat trailers,” he said. “It was very awkward timing to go kayaking. It was very dangerous as far as using discretion.”

Straka will not be charged with anything as kayaking in the river is legal, according to the Greene County Sheriff’s Office. The whole event lasted about 20 minutes, according to Maj. Rick Bowman.

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