Five kayakers had to be rescued from the waters off Trial Island yesterday by the Oak Bay and Victoria Coast Guard Auxiliary after their group of 12 kayakers was swamped by a passing power boat, according to the Victoria Times-Colonist. Another woman was able to swim to shore, but she and four others were taken to hospital for treatment of hypothermia. A lighthouse keeper spotted people in the water next to their kayaks just after noon yesterday and alerted authorities. By the time rescuers arrived, they'd been in the water about an hour, according to the T-C. A spokesman for the Victoria Joint Rescue Co-ordination centre says that all the kayakers that went over were not very experienced.
Trial Island is known for its rip currents, and the currents were forecast to be medium to strong yesterday. And a power boat charging through the area wouldn't have helped matters. I wonder if this was a group taking a lesson as many local kayak businesses run surf and current courses in the area. If so, were the teachers so overwhelmed by the number of people in the water that, an hour later, there were still five people swimming?
Thankfully, all's well that ends well. And remember: dress to get wet...and cold!