A kayaker in distress off the shores of the Esquimalt Lagoon in Colwood was rescued by nearby boats Monday evening.
The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) confirmed it received a call at approximately 5:30 p.m. for a kayaker who had over tuned their craft and fallen into the water.
Jeff Sutherland, a resident of the area, was on his back deck looking out onto the water and was watching the kayaker paddle to about 300 metres off shore, noting the water was choppy.
He said he looked away for a moment and when he looked back, the kayaker had flipped over and was scrambling to hold onto the kayak. Sutherland’s wife heard the person call for help and called Maritime Search and Rescue.
Sutherland said he went down to the beach to try to communicate to the kayaker that help was coming, but he didn’t know if the person could hear him. He said throughout the fifteen minutes the kayaker’s calls for help became more frantic.
It took about 15 minutes for the Coast Guard to arrive at the scene once they put in the call, he said. A whale watching boat and the Coast Guard reached the kayaker at the same time and pulled the kayaker from the water.
JRCC transferred the kayaker to an ambulance, but B.C. Emergency Health Services has not confirmed the condition of the kayaker at this time.
Sutherland said that he estimates the Lagoon has 50 per cent more traffic this year than it did at the same time last year. He said the water is more dangerous than people realize, and is challenging for experienced individuals.