Ottawa River rescue at Shirley’s Bay Labour Day

KANATA – The Ottawa Fire Service (OFS) spent the long weekend on the water, but it was a work trip.

The OFS was called in to action this afternoon (Sept. 7) to rescue an overturned kayaker who was drifting quickly due to high winds on the Ottawa River.

OFS Station 42 in Bay Ward was first on the scene.

“Ottawa Fire Services received a 911 call from a kayaker on the Ottawa River, reporting his kayaking partner had overturned and was taking on water,” public information officer Carson Tharris released in a statement today. “The boats were tied off together and they were both wearing personal floatation devices.”

The caller was initially west of Aylmer Island, but because very high winds the kayakers drifted towards the Aylmer Marina.

“Once OFS arrived on location the kayakers were quickly found between Aylmer Island and Aylmer Marina, they were brought safely to shore to be assessed by Ottawa Paramedic Services,” Tharris said. “Gatineau Fire was also contacted to assist with the rescue. There are no reported injuries.”

The OFS has advice for those still enjoying the water this September.

“Always wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) and ensure it fits snug and securely,” Tharris said. “If paddling during the early mornings, please ensure someone knows where you are and when you plan to return. Ensure you are equipped with a safety kit when heading out on water and/or outdoor adventures.”

On Sunday firefighters were called to rescue a kayaker who capsized and was then swept through Remic Rapids on the Ottawa River.

Firefighters have rescued a kayaker who capsized and was swept through Remic Rapids on the Ottawa River and heading downstream without the ability to get back to shore. Ottawa Fire Water Rescue teams were dispatched but firefighters already on scene used the PFDs and water rescue equipment standard on all fire trucks to swim out to assist the kayaker while the water rescue boat was on the way. The OFS reports the Sunday kayaker was also wearing a PFD.