Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue members from Station 27 headed out to the south-end of Nanaimo harbour for an operation after a canoe overturned the morning of June 27. (Karl Yu/Nanaimo News Bulletin)

Man rescued from Nanaimo River estuary after canoe overturns

Wind, waves overwhelmed canoer in south-end of Nanaimo harbour, says Nanaimo marine SAR

Nanaimo Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue set out into Nanaimo harbour to assist a man, whose canoe overturned this morning.

Ken Swain, Nanaimo marine search and rescue coxswain, said the call came in about 10 a.m. Saturday, when conditions became rough in the estuary at the south-end of Nanaimo harbour.

“This was a canoeist, he was out, got overwhelmed by the waves and the wind picked him up, took him into the estuary and unfortunately with the rising tide, he got stranded on one of the little sand bars,” said Swain.

READ ALSO: On-, off-duty RCMSAR members respond to mayday call

The man didn’t suffer any injuries, said Swain, although he appeared to suffer from mild hypothermia and was taken to an ambulance.

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, operations can be difficult, according to Swain.

“It’s the communication,” said Swain. “Obviously wearing a mask makes communication very difficult, not knowing the situation you’re going into. There’s lots of unknowns, previous medical conditions, whatnot. There’s always concerns like that … Like any first responder, you’re going into a situation that you really don’t know what it is until you actually get there and see it.”

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