Cornwall firefighters rescue late night boater on St. Lawrence River

Shawna O'Neill
Cornwall firefighters rescue late night boater on St. Lawrence River
Cornwall Fire Services truck (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall firefighters were called to action on the St. Lawrence River at 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19 when a male was reportedly stuck in his boat. 

Platoon Chief Jody Dewar explained that the male was crossing the St. Lawrence River from his home on Pilon Island when the wind pushed him off course. The male was unable to walk on the ice safely and became stranded approximately 150 ft. from shore.

“Our guys went out and brought him back in,” said Chief Dewar.

A full platoon of firefighters assisted with the water rescue. Police and paramedic personnel were also on the scene. The male was reportedly feeling cold but suffered no health effects.                                                      

Chief Dewar explained that a rescue event like this has not occurred locally in quite some time. In the past, firefighters have rescued individuals who have fallen in the water in freezing temperatures.

Chief Pierre Voisine announced on Twitter that he was extremely proud of the firefighters in their rescue mission. Chief Dewar was also feeling fortunate for the safe operation.  

The male is reportedly staying with a relative until it is safe for him to cross to his home again.

At the time of rescue, Environment Canada reported that the temperature in Cornwall was -23 Celsius with a wind chill of -33 Celsius. An extreme cold warning and winter storm warning have been in effect since Friday, Jan. 18. 

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