Watch CBS News

Kayakers brave the heat for the Schuylkill River Sojourn: "It is a little roasty"

Adventurous kayakers take on the Schuylkill River Sojourn in sweltering heat
Adventurous kayakers take on the Schuylkill River Sojourn in sweltering heat 01:46

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- More than a hundred kayakers continued Thursday on a long and hot journey up the Schuylkill River, while organizers work to keep everyone safe from the extreme heat.

Before the kayaks took off, Benjamin Drago made sure three large jugs were full of water and Gatorade. He is a summer staffer for the 26th Annual 112-mile Schuylkill River Sojourn. He was responsible for more than 100 kayakers getting all the water they wanted.

"They're on the water paddling all day in 90-degree heat. You want something refreshing, something cool," he said. "So, I have ice for them at every stop too and making sure that everything's full. And, we go through it pretty much every single time."

Raymond Hathcock was heading up the medical team for this event through Take it Outdoors Adventures. He said he offered constant reminders to the kayakers to use sunblock.

"We don't have any protection from the sun out there. So a lot of the times, it's coming up on people you see starting to get a little pink," Hathcock said. "You tell them, 'Reapply, reapply.'"


So after a safety briefing, the kayakers left the canal in Mont Clare for lunch in Norristown. Kayaker Brianne O'Neill said the conditions on the river were challenging.

"It is a little roasty," she said. "The shade spots are good, but the sunspot, it gets to baking."

O'Neill said she was grateful when those jugs of water were waiting for the team.

"I have someone in my back pocket thinking about me and keeping me hydrated," she said. "It's really nice to just feel taken care of and safer than if I was on my own."

Staff would continue working to keep kayakers healthy. 

The trip will wrap up Friday at Philadelphia's Boathouse Row.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.