Choppy waters cause multiple rescue call-outs

Unexpected weather caused hazardous conditions for multiple boaters on Harrison Lake last weekend.

A family was rescued after facing trouble on Harrison Lake Saturday.

Unexpected weather caused hazardous conditions for multiple boaters on Harrison Lake last weekend.

On the evening of Saturday, June 20, a family was left stranded on Echo Island after they encounted problems with their boat getting swamped in heavy, choppy waters. Kent Harrison Search and Rescue (KHSAR) quickly located and returned the family to safety.

“Fortunately no one was injured,” says Cpl. Mike Rail. “The boaters did the right thing by staying with the boat and navigated to safety.”

The Fox family is grateful for KHSAR’s assistance, rescuing a father, two children and two grandchildren in the incident.

“Thank you for your dedication, hard work and for everything you do,” family member Amanda Fox stated in a grateful letter to the editor (see page 7). “I’m proud to call the KHSAR team my superheroes.”

Immediately following that incident, KHSAR were paged for three men overdue from a canoe outing from 20 Mile Bay Recreation site. The ‘Spirit of Harrison’ boat was deployed, along with the RCMP Seasonal Policing Unit, to search the lake and shoreline. Around 1:30 a.m. they found the three men 800 metres north of their canoe, “as they attempted to bushwhack over three kilometres through heavy bush and very steep terrain,” reports Neil Brewer, one of the KHSAR team’s search managers.

Cpl. Rail says they made a good decision to paddle to shore after rising winds made the lake hazardous.

As the two boats were returning to Harrison at 2:55 a.m. Sunday morning, a third call was received regarding an overdue boat with four people. According to KHSAR, the individuals returned safely and KSHAR volunteers finally got home at 5 a.m. Sunday morning.

“Police would like to remind everyone that understanding the environment and realizing your own ability is essential when enjoying the lakes and backcountry in our region,” states Cpl. Rail.

KHSAR had one final callout on the weekend for a missing person at Green Point. However, as they were mustering, the subject returned to his family.