RCMP commends local action for saving lives of three kayakers

Nuxalk Coastal Guardian Watchmen and local tourism operator, Leonard Ellis, responded to the scene

  • Jun. 5, 2018 1:30 a.m.

BELLA COOLA RCMP PRESS RELEASE

The Bella Coola RCMP would like to publically recognize the efforts of Leonard Ellis and the Nuxalk Coastal Guardian Watchmen for their exemplary service to the community of Bella Coola.

On Friday May 25 2018, Mr. Leonard Ellis was hosting a tour on the North Bentnick Arm. He usually operates his tour in a certain pattern, however, on Friday he decided to operate backwards. This turned out to be good fortune for three kayakers.

The three kayakers encountered difficulties on rough seas and one of the kayaks capsized, throwing two young men into the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean. They attempted to climb aboard the second kayak causing that to capsize as well and throwing the third kayaker into the water.

Mr. Ellis observed there was something amiss and responded accordingly. Upon reaching the kayakers Mr. Ellis issued a distress call and he and his guests immediately began rescue operations.

The Nuxalk Coastal Guardian Watchmen – John Sampson, Roger Harris, Keith Windsor, Charles Saunders and Blair Hans – responded rapidly and skillfully, completing the rescue of these three young men and transporting them safely to a local hospital where they received medical treatment.

“The swift actions of Mr. Ellis, his guests, and the Nuxalk Coastal Guardian Watchmen saved the lives of three young men,” said Sergeant Rick Skolrood, Detachment Commander of the Bella Coola RCMP. It exemplifies the spirit of community and good citizenship we should all aspire to.”

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