Reserve Constables on boat patrol save man with overturned boat in South Okanagan
Penticton – On Aug.8, two RCMP Reserve Constables, were working as part of the RCMP Southeast District boat patrol on Skaha Lake checking water vessels for safety equipment and proper licensing when they encountered a boater in distress.
During the mid-afternoon patrol, the winds picked up and the water on the lake became choppy. The two RCMP reservists, R/Cst. Kate Hansen and R/Cst. Cal Demerais, spotted a capsized catamaran in the water. Upon arrival they noticed that no persons were visible on or around the vessel. A fair distance away, they noticed another boat and what appeared to be a man in the water. They quickly attend this scene and found a 70-year-old man who was determined to be the operator of the capsized vessel, who had been pulled away from his boat by the current of the lake.
The two Reserve Constables pulled the man out of the water and onto their police boat. They returned to the overturned catamaran, and with R/Cst. Demerais being a trained marine operator, he navigated the police boat into position. While directing R/Cst. Hansen to throw out the rescue line and with careful precision despite being in choppy waters, R/Cst. Demerais was able to overturn the vessel back to its correct side and assist the owner back onto his boat.
“I am grateful to have had Cal with me during this incident as he made the task almost seem routine, which is a testament to his experience on the water and as a police officer, even if retired. His quick and accurate actions no doubt prevented what could have been a tragic situation,” said R/Cst. Kate Hansen.
The BC RCMP would like to remind everyone to be prepared when venturing out on provincial water ways. Boaters are urged to ensure they have the appropriate safety equipment on board their vessels, to be fully aware of their surroundings, always wear a life saving device and be realistic about their water and vessel operator experience and abilities. Water conditions can change quickly and can lead to unpredictable outcomes. It is important to always tell someone where you are and to ensure you have an experienced person on board with you.
For more information on the Reserve Constable program, please click here.