Photos courtesy of Dan Palmer
October 8, 2013: Elgin OPP Marine Unit and Central Elgin Fire Rescue Boat
braved high winds and large waves yesterday to rescue a kite surfer from the waters
of Lake Erie.
The incident occurred just after 2:00 p.m. on October 7, 2013 when a 23 year old
Thames Centre, Ontario man who was kite surfing out in front of Main Beach in Port
Stanley, Central Elgin encountered difficulties and was swept into the west side
of the concrete break wall pier. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton**
was contacted and dispatched a rescue helicopter from Trenton, as well as notifying
local police and emergency rescue agencies.
As the incident unfolded, the waves, which were so large, was carried the man over
the break wall and into the inner harbour. He was then pushed by the current out
of the inner harbour and carried by the waves into the east break wall outer edge.
The man had managed to get himself onto the rocks of the east break wall outer edge
when the OPP Marine Unit and Central Elgin Fire Rescue Boat arrived on scene. Rescue
crews plucked him off the rocks and then transported him to emergency crews waiting
The kite surfer, who had been in the water for approximately 20 minutes, refused
At the time of the incident winds were gusting up to 61 km/h out of the South and
waves were 2 - 2.5 m (8-10 ft) in height and higher closer to shore. The water temperature
was 19 º C (66ºF).
**The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton (JRCC Trenton) is a rescue coordination
centre operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and the Canadian Coast Guard
JRCC Trenton is responsible for coordinating the Search and Rescue (SAR) response
to air and marine incidents.