A man is lucky to be alive after his kayak over-turned in the waters between Campbell River and Quadra Island Friday evening. Multiple 911 calls were received on Friday July 19 around 6:30pm in the evening about a man yelling for help about 500 metres off shore from Ken Forde Park.
Campbell River RCMP responded immediately to the area and a distress call was relayed to boaters in the area through the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) Victoria.
A witness to the event also returned home and brought an inflatable boat to the scene. This witness then rowed out to the male in distress and made contact with him. Campbell River RCMP Constable Kyle Ushock swam out to the pair and assisted the return to shore. The male was transported to Hospital by EHS and treated for hypothermia.
Investigation revealed the male was alone in a black PFD, dressed in blue jeans, with no other safety equipment on-board. The boater had also consumed liquor. The male spent 45 minutes to an hour in the water. Cst Ushock said, “without a doubt the PFD saved his life, he was exhausted when we reached shore”.
The kayak was recovered later by volunteers from the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR). The kayak was not appropriate to ocean use and was an open style hard plastic recreational design.
This is a story of how a lack of preparation mixed with alcohol nearly cost a man his life. The man had nothing but his voice to alert people to his situation. He didn’t plan on his kayak flipping and did not bring any of the mandated safety equipment except the PFD.
The Campbell River RCMP would like to remind people to please pay attention to basic safety requirements and use care around the water.
– Contributed by Campbell River RCMP