Rafters stranded on Salt River in Shepherdsville when water level rises
SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- What started as a family birthday celebration floating down the Salt River in Shepherdsville made a dangerous turn this weekend.
The Nugent family, out celebrating a birthday, was stranded on the Awesome Lazy River when the water become too high for rafting. The Nugents and nine others on the tour were left without instructions on how to get out.
"We got more than we bargained for," Sherry Nugent said. "As time had passed, we realized something's not right ... maybe it's around this corner. And the river was [winding], you didn't know what was around the corner until you got around that corner, and then there was another corner, and you just kept thinking and hoping you'd see something."
Shepherdsville Fire Chief Col. Layne Troutman said the Awesome Lazy River reported people were missing, they just didn't have an exact number.
"We had no idea how many people were missing," Troutman said.
The rafters didn't have cell phone service on the water, but they were eventually able to get a connection.
"We used their GPS off the cell phone to locate them somewhere along the Salt River and the Rolling Fork River," Troutman said.
They had traveled so far that they were in a restricted area of Fort Knox, adding an extra level of danger: heat, high water and live gunfire for training.
"The place we were standing on was downhill from a gun range that fires like 50-caliber bullets," Pat Nugent said.
The rafters were eventually rescued by boat and helicopter. On one of the hottest days of the year, everyone was dehydrated. And some had it much worse than that.
"One of them was having a seizure, and one was having a diabetic emergency," Troutman said.
And after everything, the Nugent family just wishes there were clear signs indicating where the Awesome Lazy River ended.
"There's just no safety at all," Sherry Nugent said.
The Awesome Lazy River has not immediately return a request for comment.
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