Kayaker rescued after night on the water

Sauble Beach, Ont. (File photo)

Sauble Beach, Ont. (File photo)

Scott Dunn, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:25 PM ET

OWEN SOUND, Ont. -- Crews rescued a 20-year-old cottager Wednesday who'd spent the night clinigng to his upturned kayak in Lake Huron, according to police.

The man, from Waterloo, Ont., had headed out from Sauble Beach late Tuesday looking for overdue friends who were in a canoe, police said.

He was seen in the lake around 10:30 p.m. Police received a report at 1 a.m. that he was overdue.

The pair in the canoe had returned to their cottage possibly sometime between 8 and 10 p.m.

Provincial police, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Air Force all joined in the search.

The kayaker spent at least five hours in the water before the crew on a Hercules search-and-rescue plane spotted him about 1 1/2 kilometres from shore, police said. They called in a helicopter crew, who dropped a line down to the man, then hoisted him up into the chopper.

He was taken to hospital to be checked out for minor injuries.

"I am pretty confident that if he was not wearing a life-jacket it would have been tragic, because of the cold, because of how far he was out there," Const. Nigel Heels said Wednesday afternoon.

It would have been dark and at that distance, extremely difficult to see shore, Heels said.

"He would have been extremely strained trying to get back," Heels said.

 


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