Stz’uminus residents rescue hypothermic man from water

The men then responded quickly, ran to their boat and went out to assist the struggling man, who was about 75 feet from shore.

On Friday, Nov. 14 at 12:24 p.m., the Ladysmith RCMP responded to a call from BC Ambulance Service requesting police assistance for a boat that had capsized in the ocean with two people in the water off of Silverstrand Road, near Ladysmith.

BC Ambulance, RCMP West Coast Marine Section, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue and RCMP members from Ladysmith Detachment all responded in a co-ordinated effort.

While these resources were en route, the RCMP West Coast Marine Section and Search and Rescue were cancelled, as a report was received and confirmed that the victim had been rescued and was now on shore.

Const. Chris Chanin of the Ladysmith RCMP arrived at the scene, where the ambulance attendants were working on the victim, who was clearly suffering from exposure due to the cold elements of the ocean this time of year.

Chanin spoke with two local Stz’uminus First Nation residents and learned that the two men were going along Silverstrand Road when they thought they saw a seal in the water.

They stopped and heard a faint cry for help and realized that it was actually a person struggling to stay alive in the water.

The men then responded quickly, ran to their boat and went out to assist the struggling man, who was about 75 feet from shore.

As they got close, they could see that the male in the water was incapacitated due to the cold water exposure.

One of the rescuers wrapped his arms around the male while they slowly dragged him to the shore, as his foot appeared to be stuck underneath his kayak.

Once on shore, the victim was given blankets and a coat to try to keep him warm before the ambulance arrived.

The ambulance transported the rescued male to Nanaimo Regional Hospital, due to his hypothermic condition.

The male was later released from hospital after being treated for hypothermia.

— Submitted by Ladysmith RCMP