Police and Assiginack Fire Department rescue capsized canoeists

Members of the Assiginack Fire Department and officers of the Wikwemikong Tribal Police Service assist a couple who had capsized their canoe near Buzwah in Manitowaning Bay August 25, bringing the male to safety at the Manitowaning Marina. photo by Marilyn Harasym

MANITOWANING – A trip out on the water nearly turned to tragedy when a canoe containing two people capsized in Manitowaning Bay near Buzwah, Wiikwemkoong, around 5:25 on Sunday, August 25.

According to the OPP, a call for assistance came in after a female passenger made it to shore seeking aid. The male paddler remained in the water.

A significant crowd had gathered by the shore by the time a Wikwemikong Tribal Police Service boat was backed out into the water at the Manitowaning marina to set out on a rescue mission, assisted by members of the Assiginack Fire Department and the OPP. Wikwemikong Tribal Police Service Sergeant Cooper and Constable Di Salvo operated the rescue boat.

“Both passengers in the canoe were wearing lifejackets, which probably was a contributing factor to them surviving,” noted OPP Marine Sergeant Mike Patterson, who was dispatched to the call. “The lifejackets proved their importance in this scenario.”

The male canoeist was brought to the docks in Manitowaning, where he was bundled into a waiting ambulance. Both canoeists are reported to be safe and in good health with no serious injuries reported as of press time Monday.