Emergency responders acted quickly Sunday to pluck a pair of people from the Thames River in west London.
London Fire Department received a call about two kayakers who had overturned in the river around 3 p.m.
Platoon Chief Colin Shewell says they reached out to Middlesex OPP, Delaware Fire Department, and Strathroy-Caradoc Police to assist with rescue efforts downstream, in case they weren’t able to reach the kayakers in time.
“Behind the scenes there was a lot going on, and a lot of communication, to make sure we were able to catch up with these individuals,” said Shewell.
“It was seamless teamwork, everyone pitched in, our two communicators in our communications centre did a great job, taking the information and passing it through the dispatch centre to make sure all the responders were on the same page and help make this a successful rescue.”
Shewell says they were able to track down the two kayakers a short time after the call came in, but admits there were some tense moments as they tried to locate them in the fast-moving water.
“We intercepted them just before they got to the Kilworth bridge on Oxford Street, but we did set up farther downstream, in case they got by before got there, so really the more eyes we had on the river the better, time really was of the essence.”
Crews had pulled the kayakers out of the water by 4 p.m. and the pair was transported to London hospital by EMS.
London Police and the London Fire Department were conducting joint water rescue training on the river earlier in the day Sunday, which Shewell says helped contribute to the timely response from emergency crews.
Environment Canada says London received 56.6 mm of rainfall over the course of Saturday, which broke two new rainfall records.
According to the national weather agency, the first record broken was the daily record for Jan. 11. The most rain that had fallen on that day up until now, was 33.2 mm back in 1980.
The second record broken was for the most rain to fall on any day in January, which was 45 mm set back on Jan. 4, 1993.
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