Kite boarder rescued by quick-thinking locals

Christine Wood/Staff Writer / Staff writer
October 4, 2013 01:00 AM

A kite boarder in distress off Davis Bay beach last Saturday was rescued by two quick-thinking locals while emergency responders waited on shore to help transport him to hospital.

The unidentified man was out kite boarding at around 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 28 when stormy seas and strong winds got the better of him.

About a mile from shore and unable to get up out of the water, he began calling for help.

Davis Bay resident Gordon Gray heard the kite boarder's cries and quickly got into his rowboat to offer assistance.

High winds and two-metre waves were challenging to navigate by rowboat, but not enough to deter Gray.

"Sure, it wasn't the calmest of seas, but you've got to do what you've got to do, and that guy was in distress," Gray said, noting it takes some time for Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue RCM-SAR crews from Gibsons and Halfmoon Bay to get to the Davis Bay location.

"I had my life jacket on, so I wasn't worried."

He was able to reach the kite boarder, but unable to get him out of the water.

"I couldn't get him into the boat so I put a rope around him," Gray said, noting his "significant other" had called emergency crews for help and they were waiting on shore.

RCM-SAR Unit 14 in Gibsons and a hovercraft from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre were also dispatched and en route.

At about the same time Gray was making his way to the kite boarder, Roberts Creek resident David Burnett was driving by the area with his family.

Seeing a crowd gathered and emergency crews on shore, the former member of Gibsons' RCM-SAR hurried home, grabbed his boat keys and headed to his 18-foot powerboat moored in Wilson Creek, with his 14-year-old son Julian.

The pair raced out to help.

"When we got there, he was at least half out of the water hanging onto the rowboat. The guy in the rowboat was certainly brave," Burnett noted.

"We pulled him up into our boat and he was shaking really badly so we covered him with what we had and put him in the recovery position."

They transported the kite boarder to the beach where members of the Sechelt Volunteer Fire Department were waiting to carry him to a nearby ambulance.

Burnett and his son then returned to the water to search for the man's gear and deposited what they found on the beach for pickup. Soon RCM-SAR Unit 14 arrived on scene and helped with the gear search.

Burnett said he phoned the hospital "just a couple of hours later" to check up on the rescued kite boarder and was told the man had been released.

He then offered a group of kite boarders in Davis Bay his phone number just in case any of them "get stuck in the future."

"The Sunshine Coast RCMP would like to extend their thanks to Gordon Gray, David Burnett and Julian Burnett for their assistance prior to the arrival of emergency services," Const. Ashley Taylor said in a press release about the incident.

"Sunshine Coast RCMP would also like to remind the public of the potential dangers involved in recreational activities during periods of volatile weather."

© Coast Reporter

Comments

NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Coast Reporter welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus
Coast Reporter

Email to a Friend

Close

QUESTION OF THE WEEK POLL

Are you in favour of the proposed size of the property for medical marijuana cultivation?

or  view results

Popular Coast Reporter

Community Event Calendar


Find out what's happening in your community and submit your own local events.