SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — Two kayakers who capsized near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge on Saturday evening were rescued after surviving more than two hours in the water, according to the Marin Division of the California Highway Patrol.

The kayakers, both 21, called 911 on their cellphone about 8:20 p.m. to ask for help after capsizing the kayak.

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The United States Coast Guard sent a helicopter to conduct a search while the San Rafael, Tiburon, Southern Marin and Kentfield fire departments launched fireboats and deployed crews along the shore.

A CHP helicopter joined the search about 9:25 p.m. and about an hour later was able to locate them about a quarter-mile off the shore of Tiburon using its thermal FLIR imaging/night vision/infrared camera system.

The kayakers, who were about 2 1/2 miles from where they called 911, were “frantically attempting to make it to shore,” CHP Marin said on its Facebook page where it posted video of the night rescue effort.

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The CHP helicopter directed the Coast Guard helicopter and the Tiburon fireboat to the kayakers and the pair were brought aboard and taken to shore.

Both kayakers were wearing life jackets and the CHP credits that with their survival, noting the cold bay water and the difficulty in staying afloat for two hours.


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