Whitehorse RCMP, the fire department and Yukon Emergency Services collaborated to rescue a group of stranded paddlers last week.
The RCMP received a call at 5:30 p.m. on June 1 from a group on Chadburn Lake. The group called for assistance after their canoe flipped.
The paddlers did reach land in a remote area of the lake, however, there was no road access. Coupled with cold water and swift currents they were unable to make it to the shoreline safely.
Firefighters and police, using an RCMP boat, were able to reach the paddlers’ location and bring them to shore where they were met by paramedics.
Water temperatures in the territory can remain cold even in the summer months and people partaking in water activities need to be prepared and safe. Even strong swimmers can suffer the effects of cold water shock, said an RCMP press release.
People are reminded to wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD); check conditions in advance and monitor the wind, weather and water; and ensure mandatory safety equipment is packed and available for whatever size and type of boat being used.
Transport Canada notes that it can be “nearly impossible” to put on a lifejacket after falling into cold water.