A training canoe to ice it turns to drama

News 13 December, 2017
  • Photo Stevens LeBlanc

    Pierre-Paul Biron

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017 12:49

    Wednesday, December 13, 2017 15:57

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    Five people had to be rescued by emergency services after capsizing in a canoe on the river, approximately at the height of Gilmour hill. One of the occupants was transported to the hospital in arrest cardio-respiatoire.

    Photo Marc Vallières

    The accident occurred on the river around noon Wednesday. The five people, who practiced the canoe with ice, capsized before finding himself in the icy water. Four of them were able to reach the shore by their own means, while the fifth person drifted in the strong current.

    Employees in the distribution Centre of Sillery, who work at the silos located nearby, tried to get out of the waves, but they did not succeed.

    “We’ve tried everything. We tried to throw them a buoy, but it was much too far from the shore. It was at least a hundred feet from the edge. We could not do anything to achieve it,” explains a manager of the garage in the distribution centre who wished to remained anonymous.

    Photo Marc Vallières

    Water rescue

    When the firefighters were finally able to reach the victim, the latter was in a state of hypothermia and cardio-respiratory arrest. Struggling to navigate the waters with their inflatable boat, the members of the team nautique has received the support of a ship of the Group Ocean, which is responsible to carry the victim up to a quay in the port of Quebec.

    “It is this ship which has taken away the victim up at pier 17, located close to the bassin Louise, where the victim was able to be taken care of by the paramedics. This is the procedure in our interventions in water, we have a partnership with Group Ocean,” says Bill Noonan, a spokesperson for the fire department of Quebec.

    #RESPONSE | water Rescue | 965 Boul. Champlain | The last person to be rescued in the water and was transported by ambulance to a hospital. This last appears to be suffering from hypothermia.

    — Firefighters from Quebec (@SPCIQ) December 13, 2017


    While firefighters attempted to reach the victim trapped in the icy waters of the river, the employees of the centre have made to enter the other four rowers on the inside. Obviously, they were worried for their comrade missing.

    “We warmed up. They were all hypothermic and panicky,” says the foreman of the garage.

    Photo Marc Vallières

    These four people were then taken care of by the paramedics before being transported to the hospital. A supervisor paramedic confirms that they were conscious and alert in spite of their hypothermia.

    The authorities did explain, still not sure how the rowers were able to find themselves in this unfortunate position. The victims have, however, stated to a witness, “hit a wave”.