A Port Moody man has much to be thankful for following a rescue in Golden Ears Provincial Park Monday.
Beautiful fall weather on the Thanksgiving Day holiday motivated the man to test drive a jet-ski on Alouette Lake Monday afternoon, said Rick Laing, manager of the Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue.
But the trip didn't work out as planned, and the man was suffering the onset of mild hypothermia and sore feet when rescuers located him Monday night.
"He was very lucky as this could have had a very tragic outcome," Laing said, elaborating on the incident.
The man was contemplating the purchase of the jet-ski, and told his girlfriend he was heading to the Maple Ridge lake.
He insisted he would be back home by 4 p.m., and if he wasn't back by then, she was to assume something had gone wrong and to call police.
"Which is what happened," Laing said. The search team was deployed at 5:45 p.m., and headed up to the lake with seven members and two boats.
It turns out the jet-ski had apparently broken down at the top end of the lake, and the man tried to swim out, while pushing the jet-ski. "He ended up tying the craft to shore and walked and swam about five kilometres down the lake to the narrows, where he was able to get a cell signal and alert us as to his location," Laing said, noting the team found him around 9 p.m.
Referring to the man as lucky, he warned others against such behaviour.
"He had gone out on a lake that he was not familiar with, on a vessel he had never driven before, on his own, and with none of the required safety equipment that one needs to carry while boating - other than a PFD [personal flotation device]."
@ Copyright 2013