Authorities found the man who went missing Saturday evening while kayaking down the Neuse River in Johnston County, local officials say. He was at work in Youngsville Sunday morning when local police were able to confirm that he was safe.
First responders searched until 2 a.m. Sunday for Isaac Evans, 26, of Raleigh. But he had pulled off the river and slept at a friend’s house, Town of Clayton spokeswoman Stacy Beard said Sunday morning. “All parties were highly intoxicated,” she said.
“When Youngsville Police were able to talk to the man this morning in person, the man said he did not realize there had been a large search for him,” Beard said. She added that Raleigh police checked for the man at his residence last night.
The kayaker was part of a group that ran into trouble when a canoe hit a log and overturned, according to a statement from the nearby Town of Clayton. Beard said a man, woman, two dogs and a child were in the canoe and all were able to get back into the canoe and were pulled ashore by rescuers.
The kayak carried a second man and woman, the child’s mother, Beard said in a statement overnight. The mother jumped out of the kayak to help the child, who was wearing a life vest, and the pair swam to the river bank.
“In the dark, he got out of the kayak, got onto land, found some people on shore and was able call for a ride and report for work at his early morning shift in Youngsville,” Beard said in a statement.
The Archers Lodge Fire Department received the 911 call at about 9 p.m.
No one was injured, Beard said.
The volunteer fire department, with teams from the Johnston and Wake county sheriff’s offices, a search helicopter from the Highway Patrol and other first responders from the area searched the Neuse River until 2 a.m.
“Clayton Police hope to work with Johnston County authorities to follow-up on this incident – they’ll investigate what led up to the rescue, the cost, and any possible charges,” Beard said in a statement Sunday morning.
The group put in the canoe and kayak at Milburnie Road in Wake County and had planned to get out of the river at Castleberry Road and N.C. 42 East in Johnston County, where they left a vehicle parked.
Duncan: 919-829-4880, @duncanreporting