'I just didn't want to die': Teens recount rescue from Lake Ontario

Toronto friends Ashif Ahmed, 18, (L) and Tashpi Rahman, 19, pictured Thursday, August 14, 2014,...

Toronto friends Ashif Ahmed, 18, (L) and Tashpi Rahman, 19, pictured Thursday, August 14, 2014, near the R.S. Harris Water Filtration plant in the east end of the Toronto Beach area where they set off in a dinghy Wednesday. (Jack Boland/QMI Agency)

Angela Hennessy, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

TORONTO - “I just didn’t want to die,” 19-year-old Tashpi Rahman recalled Thursday, a day after being rescued from Lake Ontario.

Toronto Police say Rahman and his friend, 18-year-old Ashif Ahmed, are lucky to be alive after being stranded on the vast lake when strong winds and darkening skies took over.

“Honestly, we both thought we were going to die because we were so far offshore and there was no way to get back,” Rahman said.

The pair had pushed off land at the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in a small dinghy. They had no life jackets and only one paddle, but said they were just planning on going out for a short while.

Strong winds had started to push the two further offshore and when they tried to get back their paddle broke.

“At that moment, I was really scared and didn’t know what to do,” Ahmed said. “But we knew we needed to do something quick.”

The teens were racing against time as it continued to get dark and huge waves crashed into the watercraft, filling it with water.

They had considered trying to swim back but realized they would be overtaken by the waves — reported by police to have reached as high as two metres Wednesday night.

Rahman also couldn’t move his limbs after reaching Stage 2 hypothermia.

The teens were able to call 911 from a cellphone, which police said saved their lives.

But the pair had no idea where they were, other than that they could still see the CN Tower.


Photos