PHOTOS: Heat exhaustion brings five towns out to rescue inner-tuber from the White River in Sharon

Technical rescue teams built a rope system up the steep embankment

SHARON - A local man who is believed to have suffered from heat stroke while inner-tubing down the White River with friends on Wednesday afternoon was rescued from the river by emergency services from five area towns.

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    Sharon's volunteer firefighters were joined by a South Royalton Rescue ambulance crew and members of the Hartford, Lebanon and Hanover fire departments' Rescue-From-Heights and Swift Water Rescue teams to perform the extrication which took just under an hour.

    Hartford Fire Captain Shawn Hannux was in charge of the effort that began shortly before 4 p.m. on a stretch of Route 14 about a half-mile south of the Sharon Trading Post.

    Dozens of inner-tubers were all up and down the cool White River on the Fourth of July afternoon and several of them stayed with the middle-aged victim while firefighters set up to lift him from the riverbank upwards through 60 feet of thick brush to the waiting ambulance.

    "They called us initially for a male patient who was at the edge of the river but it was unknown if he was still in the water or on the bank," Captain Hannux recalled.  "On the way here they told us he was over a steep embankment so we wound up having Hanover and Lebanon come assist as well, just because of the unknown circumstances."

    "We used the guardrails beside the road as an anchor and built a simple rope system to assist him up with a (metal) Stokes basket and he's been transported to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center."

Vermont State Police Sergeant Hugh O'Donnell helped direct traffic on the curving stretch of Route 14

Hanover firefighters arrive on scene

Ropes were attached to the guardrail at the side of the road for support

Firefighters from Sharon and the surrounding towns pulled the rope in a tug-of-war-like fashion along the road to lift the basket up the slope

The victim was conscious, talkative and appeared to be in good spirits when he reached the top

Vermont News can be contacted at

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