Two People Lucky To Be Alive After Their Boat Capsizes On Rice Lake

In Editor Choice, Local

Two people are lucky to be alive after their boat capsized while fishing on Rice Lake on Wednesday evening.
At approximately 7:45 p.m. Hamilton Township Fire Department, Northumberland County Paramedics and Northumberland OPP were dispatched to Rice Lake just off of Harwood.
A man and woman were fishing in what was reported to be a duck hyde boat possibly with a flat bottom.
One of the people hooked on to a fish and when the other went to help the boat capsized tossing them into the frigid waters of Rice Lake.
“We literally just noticed they were yelling,” said Travis Watts who was near the shoreline with his girlfriend and their child..
“I didn’t even see the people I just saw the boat upside down.”
Watts and his girlfriend yelled at the two people to swim to the nearest shore which was an old railway bed from a railway that spanned across Rice Lake in early 1900’s.
There are numerous small islands along the railway bed, but in one area it is approximately four metres deep.
“I got to the channel and I realized if I got in I was probably not going to make it across,” said Watts.
His girlfriend got a small paddle boat off she noticed on a nearby lawn and Watts rescued the two shivering people who had swam from the boat to the small piece of land.
“They were very cold. The girl was in a lot of shock.”
“I think if it wasn’t for him she probably wouldn’t have made it back to shore.”
“The longer you’re in that water, you’re not going to make it. It’s just going to freeze your bones.”
Watts said there was debris floating in the water around the boat including life jackets, paddle and a tackle box.
As Watts was bringing them to shore on the paddle boat, firefighters from Hamilton Township were suited up and entering the water.
The woman was taken to Northumberland Hills Hospital while the man remained on scene trying to figure out a way to retrieve the boat.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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