Kayaker rescued off Peche Island by Coast Guard after ice surrounded area
A Windsor woman out for an afternoon paddling in her kayak was rescued from Peach Island on Wednesday by the US Coast Guard in cooperation with their Canadian counterparts. What is up for debate is whether or not she needed rescue.
Wanda Embury said she is an experienced kayaker who has paddled the Great Lakes, the entire length of the St. Lawrence River and many northern lakes. On Wednesday, she paddled to her favorite spot on Peach Island to enjoy lunch and the sun.
“What I was trying to do was have a peace and quiet afternoon and kayak to the island like I’ve done hundreds of times,” Embury said. at CBC News.
On her way to the island, Embury said, there was no ice on the water. But once there, things changed.
“All of a sudden there were little round circles of ice, and I did maybe two or three hits in the round circles, I couldn’t see any of them until I was over- above them,” she said.
Embury said she knows the ice can be dangerous and people can get caught up in it. But she was able to get to the island and felt safe.
“I felt like I was fine. I wasn’t freaking out,” she said.
She took off her coveralls and pulled out her lunch when she noticed the US Coast Guard helicopter hovering overhead.
“I said, ‘Oh, they have to practice,’ because they go up and down that stream quite frequently,” she said. “Well I thought they were training until I saw a guy – because they were high – and a guy ended up coming down and he started walking towards me. I was like, ‘Oh, something’s wrong. “”
Someone on shore phoned the Coast Guard about Embury’s visit there, she said.
The situation could have gotten worse
U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Jeremiah Schiessel confirmed Canada’s Joint Rescue Command Center requested search and rescue assistance on Wednesday for a call about a kayaker heading to the island. of Fishing.
Schiessel said the person was not in immediate distress, but there was a risk the situation could get worse.
The US Coast Guard airlifted Embury from the island, leaving her kayak behind, dropping her off at Windsor Airport.
The rescue was done as a precaution, Schiessel said.
Despite her safety gear and precautions as an experienced kayaker, Embury said she was grateful to the Coast Guard on both sides of the border and the person who called her.
Embury said those who spoke to her understood her plans and were satisfied knowing her husband ashore knew where she was and when she was expected to return.
“After a few back and forth with the Canadian Coast Guard, I recognized that it was best to let them do the airlift,” she said.
“The thing is, I understand. I also understand the risks of the ice and getting under it.”
Embury said she was happy for people ashore to watch the river, as it can be extremely dangerous. She said anyone kayaking or canoeing should know how to flip their boat and know what to do, especially on the Detroit River.
“There are so many things you need to make sure you know before you hit that river because people are dying on that river and I respect it a lot,” she said.
“Paddle for the summer, be careful, that’s all.”