A Whitby officer and a civilian are being credited with saving a female kayaker who capsized in Lake Ontario.
On Friday, June 15, 2018 at approximately 5:30 p.m., police received a call from a citizen about a boater in distress on Lake Ontario, about 500 meters offshore of Halls Road in Whitby. The citizen heard someone blowing a whistle from the water and was able to spot someone in the water through binoculars.
A few minutes later, the female in distress called for assistance herself, using her Apple watch. She had been in the water for about 20 minutes and was experiencing complications from hypothermia.
An acting Sergeant from Central West Division attended the Whitby harbour and commandeered a civilian boat. With its owner at the helm, the two rescuers located the female clinging to her kayak and brought her to shore. The 43-year-old Pickering woman was taken to a local hospital as a precaution and was in the early stages of hypothermia.
Despite the recent warm temperatures, the water in this part of Lake Ontario can be only 12 degrees Celsius. Exposure for a lengthy period of time at this temperature can lead to hypothermia. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, slow shallow breathing, confusion and memory loss, drowsiness and loss of coordination.