Cops advise boaters to know exact location
Three women who couldn’t swim were rescued after their canoe was swept away from the shores of Lake Simcoe.
On June 24 shortly after 1:15 p.m., York Regional Police received a 911 call from a boater in distress.
Police say the trio had rented a canoe but the winds took them away from shore and they couldn’t paddle back.
To make things worse, the canoeists couldn’t tell police their location.
In a video released by police, the 911 caller said she thought they were somewhere off Sibbald Point Provincial Park.
The caller said the women were very far out in the water and that one was having an asthma and panic attack.
Police were also told it was the women’s first time canoeing — and it would be their last. As police approached, the caller said she had a whistle and the 911 operator advised her to blow it.
Marine Unit rescuers located the women and got them back to shore without injury.
“Officers with the Marine Unit would like to remind anyone heading out on the water that help can find you faster if you are able to relay your exact location to emergency call takers,” York police said in a release.
“Learn to familiarize yourself with the GPS on your phone or consider installing an app that can assist you with determining your location.”
The weather on Lake Simcoe can change quickly and waves can become large, cops noted.
Police advised boaters to have a properly fitted life jacket and a cellphone, and to plan their route and inform someone when they’ll be back.