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Rochester Hills — Oakland County sheriff's deputies rescued a kayaker who was clinging to a tree branch after her kayak overturned in the rain-swollen Clinton River.

The deputies were called to the 700 block of Riverbend Drive on Saturday afternoon after construction workers heard a woman screaming for help and asked a homeowner to call 911.

The emergency responders found the woman holding onto a branch on the east side of the river bank and pulled her to safety by tossing her a Frisbee-like rescue device, the ResQ Disc. 

A 57-year-old resident of Birmingham, the woman had been in the water for about 45 minutes and was treated for hypothermia, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

She and her boyfriend, also 57 and from Birmingham, had been kayaking on the river near Livernois and Avon roads, when they apparently struck a submerged log and capsized. 

The man swam to safety on the west bank of the fast-moving river, but his girlfriend had to grab the tree branch to avoid being swept downstream, the sheriff's office said.

Neither kayaker was wearing a life jacket. Their kayak was swept downstream and wasn't recovered.

 

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