Firefighters load a kayak into a truck following a rescue from Semiahmoo Bay Thursday afternoon. (Christy Fox photo)

Quick-acting White Rock firefighters rescue kayaker

Distressed paddler wasn’t wearing a life-jacket

Emergency crews were dispatched to White Rock’s waterfront Thursday afternoon after a kayaker ran into trouble in Semiahmoo Bay.

City officials say the paddler was fortunate firefighters were able to locate and reach the man in short order, as he had no life-jacket and was tiring quickly.

“Certainly, the quick actions of the crew and their response to the situation led to a very positive outcome for something that could have been very tragic,” fire Chief Phil Lemire said Friday.

Fire crews were alerted at 2:15 p.m.

According to a City of White Rock news release, the kayaker was “out past the City of White Rock’s pier when his craft overturned and his attempts to right it failed.”

“As a result, the kayak began to take on water and the individual who was without a life jacket, started to swim towards shore but was becoming exhausted,” the release states.

Lemire said the man told his rescuers that he had set out from the East Beach shoreline – near the Washington Avenue Grill – but ran into rougher water around the breakwater, beyond the pier.

He “got swamped by a wave,” Lemire said.

“It started to take on water and sink, and he was on his own.”

Lemire said emergency crews were alerted by a passerby who heard the kayaker, who had started to swim for shore, yelling for help.

Once his position was pinpointed, two firefighters donned life-jackets and swam “around 500 yards” out to the man with a third life-jacket, and assisted him to shore, Lemire said.

One man who said his out-of-town guests witnessed the incident described the firefighters who swam out as heroes.

“Saved his life I’m sure,” Ian Marks said in an email to Peace Arch News.

Lemire said the kayaker was OK, “other than physically tired.” He was assessed by paramedics at the scene and released.

Lemire described the kayaker as a White Rock resident in his thirties, and said he had a chance to chat with the man while driving him home.

“I said, ‘so, lessons learned?’ He said, ‘oh yeah.’”

Lemire said the incident is a reminder of the importance of being prepared.

“A life-jacket is a requirement on any type of watercraft,” he said. “I think it’s fair enough to say he’s recognized that in this case.”



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Visit us at peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Emergency crews were on White Rock’s waterfront Thursday following a report of a kayaker in distress. (Christy Fox photo)

Just Posted

Surrey council approves free two-hour parking at city hall, around hospital

Although council gave its blessing to offer the free parking Monday (Nov. 19), it was already made free last week

Surrey School District says it needs 7 new schools in next decade

Surrey council endorsed the district’s 2019-20 capital plan on Monday, Nov. 19

Surrey Fire Service to provide non-emergency dispatch services for Port Moody

It’s said the move will bring in more than $9,000 a year for the City of Surrey

Second person dies following head-on collision in Surrey

Paige Nagata of Abbotsford was in crash on Nov. 4 that also killed Sarah Dhillon

Man still in hospital after struck by car in Surrey last week

The man was airlifted to hospital with “potential life-threatening” injuries after the incident

White Rock pier light show

Dancing lights highlighted off the water front

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

11 years sought for Burnaby man who killed girlfriend with hammer, burned her body

Manslaughter sentencing hearing started Monday in Chilliwack for Ryan Armstrong

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Most Read