A hunter’s kayak capsized near Green Island recently amid high winds and waves. Thanks in part to a waterproof cell phone case, rescuers found the hunter, Jared Porter of Madison, Wis., clinging to a tree limb, and he went to a nearby hospital for medical evaluation. A dog who had been in the kayak did not require medical attention. 

Winds from Dubuque to Davenport Oct. 20 averaged about 15 miles per hour, with winds up to 35 mph and gusts topping 50. Porter said that wind and water were calm when he set out that morning, but higher-than-normal water levels made it harder to find a hunting spot. Porter’s kayak capsized on his return across open waters, when he hit a large wave.

Sabula Fire and Rescue responded to Porter’s emergency call at about 9 a.m. from Browns Lake, near Green Island Wildlife Management Area. When he called, Porter was clinging to the capsized kayak.

An Iowa Department of Natural Resources conservation officer patrolling nearby responded immediately, as well as another conservation officer in a mud boat and a DNR wildlife technician.

Because of his waterproof cell phone case, Porter remained on the phone with dispatch for the nearly 45 minutes it took to find the hunter in the flooded timber. Wind, waves and high water complicated rescue efforts.

Air Care was on standby, but Porter was treated and released.