Duck hunting trio gets stranded on French Creek island

Jan. 3—WOODCOCK TOWNSHIP — Three duck hunters using kayaks on French Creek were rescued after becoming stranded on an island in the creek about 4 miles north of Meadville on Tuesday.

The incident began shortly after 1 p.m. when the three men who were duck hunting became separated from their kayaks, according to Mike Parker, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

One of the unidentified hunters ended up in the water with two others stranded on an island, Parker added.

Emergency radio traffic from the Crawford County 911 Center said the island is located behind U.S. Bronze Foundry and Machinery Inc. The foundry complex, on Brakeshoe Road off routes 6 and 19 in Woodcock Township, is about 4 miles north of Meadville.

Initial radio traffic indicated one of the kayaks had capsized, but that the trio had made it to the island.

A Blooming Valley Volunteer Fire Department member who arrived creekside on the scene about 1:20 said he was able to speak with the three.

Saegertown and Blooming Valley volunteer fire departments, along with the Crawford County Scuba Team, were called to the area to launch a boat to get the trio off the island. Meadville Area Ambulance Service also was called to the scene as a precaution.

All three were reported safe on shore at 2:31, according to emergency radio traffic.

A Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Waterways Conservation officer on the scene reported that the hunters weren't injured and all of the kayaks were recovered, according to Parker.

No Fish and Boat Commission investigation is being conducted in the incident, he added.

The last units returned to quarters at 3 p.m., according to the Crawford County 911 Center.

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at