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Emergency services rescue youth in Lake Ontario

PEC Fire Department’s Fortuna rescue boat. – File photo

Timber Island is located off Long Point, on the south shore of Prince Edward County. – Google Maps photo www.google.ca

Co-ordinated efforts Monday night rescued a young man on a makeshift raft in the still frigid water of Lake Ontario.

PEC OPP Constable Connor Durkin reports the OPP, Fire Department and Emergency Medical services raced to the scene, responding to a call at about 4:15 p.m. that the 17-year-old’s homemade raft was taking on water.

The Canadian Coast Guard and Search and Rescue from 8 Wing CFB Trenton were also requested. The Ministry of Natural Resources was in the area and offered assistance, as did a private citizen.

Three County firefighters launched the department’s Fortuna rescue boat and travelled about 2,400 metres (about one and a half miles) from the Point Traverse shore to reach the youth. The rescued the youth from the water and took him to nearby Timber Island.

CFB Trenton’s Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre sent a Search and Rescue helicopter to Timber Island. SAR techs landed and treated the youth for hypothermia, then loaded him into the helicopter to be transported to hospital.

“It was a joint response by all agencies,” said PEC Fire Chief Scott Manlow. “Everybody participated and it came down to teamwork in a unified response and everybody knew their role. We were able to access all the resources to make this a successful rescue.”

OPP Constable Connor Durkin said breakdowns account for a significant number of calls for assistance to the OPP and most are preventable by ensuring vessels are serviceable and have sufficient gas.

“Part of being prepared is making sure that the weather and water conditions are suitable. When things go wrong on the water, it happens very quickly, and you don’t always have time to react,” said Durkin, recommending skippers always discuss their plans with a family before they set out on the water.”

Helicopter that performs Search and Rescue efforts here. Photo courtesy Blair Dirks

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  1. Brenda McKay says:

    For sure more care needs to be placed in safety but if you get yourself into trouble PEC Emergency folks are the best. What a team!

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