When Corey Lilly saw on Facebook that an empty kayak had been found floating on the Kanawha River in WV he became upset as a fellow kayaker.
Sam Davis had been out alone and his boat was found without him.
Search and rescue teams began for Davis around 6pm, but they called it a night at 10 when they’d seen no trace of him.
Lilly saw that on social media and called two friends. "I couldn't believe they were going to leave him out there all night! I felt like I had a pretty good idea where he'd be and wondered if the police had searched there. So me and my boys went searching". Davis was exactly where his rescuer thought he’d be - trapped in a crevice behind a waterfall.
Davis was alive and stable, but was suffering from hypothermia after being behind the waterfall for eight hours. Doctors said it was doubtful he would have lived till morning. The friends called other friends who rushed to the spot to help hoist Sam out as it became obvious he wasn't really able to participate much in his own rescue. They got him a rope with a clip that he could clip to his life preserver and they were able to lift him the 20 or so feet up and then rush him to a waiting ambulance that had been called.
. “When you have knowledge and you have the skillset to be able to do something and make a genuine impact on your community, it’s just human nature,” Lilly says.
Natural Resource Police Captain Woodrow Brogan III said "Moving forward, I think what you’re going to see is I think a closer bond and a relationship between the DNR, the whitewater community and the whitewater commission".