Etowah Co. rescuer dies during search for missing kayaker

Updated: Dec. 22, 2015 at 7:09 PM CST
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Source: Dixon Hayes/WBRC
Source: Dixon Hayes/WBRC
Source: Dixon Hayes/WBRC
Source: Dixon Hayes/WBRC
Source: Dixon Hayes/WBRC
Source: Dixon Hayes/WBRC

ETOWAH COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - A rescuer on a recovery mission on the Coosa River in Gadsden has died.

Vicky Ryan was pronounced dead just before 10:30 Saturday night at Riverview Regional Medical Center. Coroner Michael Head says the cause of her death is drowning.

Ryan is survived by her husband, fellow rescue squad member Houston, Ryan and a ten year old son.

Two Etowah County Rescue Squad boats capsized while they were searching for a possible drowning victim on Saturday.

About nine rescuers were pulled from the water. Several of them were taken to the Riverview Regional Medical Center.

Rescuers were searching for a kayaker believed to have capsized while attempting to go over an artificial waterfall near Brook Avenue on Saturday morning. The kayak was still floating in the area when rescuers arrived but the person never resurfaced.

Authorities initially responded with one boat but it capsized near the waterfall and the crew fell into the creek. A second boat responded to rescue the first crew but it too feel victim to the waterfall and capsized.

The Etowah County Sheriff's Office, Fire Department, Gadsden Police and Attalla Police also responded to the scene.

A GoFundMe page has been established for to help with the education of Ryan's son. Click here to donate:

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