Canadian kayaker rescues capsized man in a lake

This is the dramatic moment a kayaker rescued a capsized man who had been clinging onto his boat in a chilly Canadian lake. 

Sally Wallick, 27, was filming herself out on her kayak on April 30 when she came across the man who she believes had been clinging to his boat for at least 45 minutes.  

In the footage, Sally, who was concerned by the man’s condition, goes over to him and casually asks: ‘In a little bit of trouble?’ before finding out how long he had been in Okanagan Lake in Kelowna, British Columbia. 

Sally, who is a musician, swimming coach and middle school teacher, told Global News: ‘I noticed right away he wasn’t really okay. I tried to keep it light not to panic him. He was past the point of…being panicky which was concerning.

Sally Wallick was filming herself out on her kayak in late April when she came across a capsized man (top left) who she believed had been clinging to his boat for at least 45 minutes

Sally Wallick was filming herself out on her kayak in late April when she came across a capsized man (top left) who she believed had been clinging to his boat for at least 45 minutes

Sally was concerned by the man's condition and in the clip, the kayaker went over to the man and casually asked: 'In a little bit of trouble?'

Sally was concerned by the man’s condition and in the clip, the kayaker went over to the man and casually asked: ‘In a little bit of trouble?’

‘I tried to keep it light, but inside I was like, “Oh no, this guy needs help right away.” ‘ She had already phoned to arrange for help on shore, about a mile away.  

Sally told the man, whose lips she said were turning purple, to grab onto her boat.  

Her footage she calmly tells him: ‘We’re just going to leave your kayak. We’re just going to drop it. It will wash up to shore. 

The teacher reassured him they would find the boat and said: ‘We need to get you to shore because your lips are purple and you’re really cold.

‘Leave the kayak, we’ll find it I promise but grab on to my boat.’ 

Sally urged the capsized kayaker to grab her boat, warning him that it was ‘tippy’, taking his phone as he grabbed on and asking whether there was anything important in his bag which was on his kayak. 

Sally told the man, whose lips she said were turning purple, to grab onto her boat and that they were going to leave his kayak

Sally told the man, whose lips she said were turning purple, to grab onto her boat and that they were going to leave his kayak

Sally remained calm, telling him that they would leave his kayak and find it later when it washed up on the shore, urging the capsized kayaker to grab her boat

Sally remained calm, telling him that they would leave his kayak and find it later when it washed up on the shore, urging the capsized kayaker to grab her boat

She asked the man to grab on to the front of her boat, so that she could see him as she reminded him to breathe and keep his eyes open. 

The man then helped Sally to turn her boat around so that they could get back to the shore. She told him to kick his legs ‘to keep warm’. 

The day had started out ‘supper sunny’ with ‘clear skies’, Sally said, but the wind came very fast. 

She is a strong swimmer and felt confident enough to be out on the water despite the change in the weather but was ready to turn back when she spotted the man.  

Sally told the Nanaimo News Bulletin: ‘I was actually ready to turn back but I kept seeing something in the water. It was really hard to see with the waves, and it didn’t even dawn on me that it would be a person.’ 

In her footage, Sally paddles back to shore and the man holds on to the front of the boat and she keeps reassuring him. 

She tells him: ‘Good job, keep going. Remember to breathe. Okay, here we go. We’re going. That’s good now. 

‘Okay, here we go, you’re doing great. Can you keep your eyes open for me? Hold on to the boat you’re doing great. Good job. Hold on.’ 

Sally later recalled that the man’s eyes started closing, he started to go limp and she feared he was about to let go of the boat. 

As the boat careers off course, Sally suggests they try another method. 

Sally asked the man to grab on to the front of her boat, so that she could see him as she reminded him to breathe and keep his eyes open as she paddled back to shore

Sally asked the man to grab on to the front of her boat, so that she could see him as she reminded him to breathe and keep his eyes open as she paddled back to shore

However, the rescue attempt then takes a dramatic turn when she asks him to lie across her kayak. As he tries to do so she is tipped into the water too.  

Sally immediately reassures the man that it’s okay and tells him to hold onto the kayak. 

She then flags down another boat to help them before saying to the man: ‘Hey, here you go. It’s okay, there’s a boat coming.’ 

Sally said that the man had all the right things but was very unlucky that the weather switched unpredictably. She doesn’t believe he was seriously injured.

As the boat careers off course,  Sally suggests they try another method and asks him to lean on her boat but this causes her to get tipped into the lake

As the boat careers off course,  Sally suggests they try another method and asks him to lean on her boat but this causes her to get tipped into the lake

Sally wants this to be a safety lesson to everybody that the weather can change from being very calm to windy unpredictably

Sally wants this to be a safety lesson to everybody that the weather can change from being very calm to windy unpredictably

She believes he got into trouble when the wind picked up on what had been a calm day, and wants it to be a safety lesson to everybody that the weather can change unpredictably.   

Sally said you should have someone in the water with you and people on shore who know you are out in the water.    

The lake in Kelowna is 84 miles long and between 2.5 and 3 miles wide. 

The footage shows that Sally remained calm, reassuring the man it was okay and flagging down another boat, which took the man to shore. Sally says the man was not seriously injured

The footage shows that Sally remained calm, reassuring the man it was okay and flagging down another boat, which took the man to shore. Sally says the man was not seriously injured

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