A late afternoon canoe expedition gone wrong ended right, thanks to the efforts of witnesses who swam and paddled into the frigid waters of Alta Lake to save two men who had capsized in a canoe.
The RCMP received an emergency call just after 5 p.m. on May 7 that two adult males were in the water. Neither was wearing a lifejacket and they appeared to be in a state of panic. It's still unknown whether either of the two men could swim.
Two witnesses, one from B.C. and another from Alberta, swam out to the overturned canoe and brought one of the men back to the shore. A local with a kayak attempted to rescue the second man as he and the canoe were driven by winds to the north end of the lake. The kayaker attempted to calm the man down, but seeing that the male was exhausted and about to go underwater he grabbed hold and tried to pull the man back to shore. The kayak tipped over, but he still managed to pull the male to the shore for treatment by firefighters and paramedics who had arrived on the scene.
The first male fled the seen, while the second was identified as a 33-year-old male from Nova Scotia. RCMP say he had been drinking and was suffering from hypothermia when he was pulled from the water.
The RCMP have cited all three volunteers for their actions, but will not identify the rescuers until they obtain their permission. An RCMP officer also entered the water to assist in the rescue.
No charges are being considered.
The lesson, says Sergeant Shawn LeMay of the Whistler RCMP, is to always wear a flotation device when paddling the local lakes.
Stolen vehicle recovered
The Whistler RCMP recovered a stolen vehicle with stolen plates and stolen insurance tags on Sunday, May 9 after pursuing the vehicle through Whistler.
The RCMP attempted to stop the vehicle, a red Volkswagen GTI that they identified as suspicious, just after 1 a.m. The car and driver fled, taking the RCMP on a chase through the village to the highway and toward Function Junction. The driver attempted to hide the vehicle from police. The police found the vehicle, which then fled again back towards the village. The vehicle was located abandoned in Alpha Lake Village, with the driver and suspected passengers fleeing on foot.
Sergeant Shawn LeMay said the driver went as fast as 100 km/h during the pursuit, but was cognizant of other drivers and even yielded to another driver at one point. In the interest of public safety the RCMP kept their distance during the pursuit to prevent an accident.
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