How the rescue was accomplished

An Aiken family of three is being credited with taking action Saturday night on the Chattooga River that not only helped protect them from the elements but helped facilitate the search that eventually found them cold, wet, tired and hungry. But, according to the account provided by Adam Williams, Deputy Rescue Chief for Oconee County, the members of the Riley family emerged without any injuries. The Rileys were rafting Section Two Saturday night, but lost the use of one of their two rafts and decided to call it a day when darkness set in. According to Williams, “With coldness setting in and rain that night, the family made the decision to deflate one of the rafts and use it for shelter and as a blanket to stay warm.” By staying on the river shore, Williams says, enabled the rescuers the next day to begin sending rafters down the river, coupled with the Sheriff’’s Department’s helicopter above the water. The rescue team had called off its Saturday night search at 3 the next morning, only to resume it at first light.