A kayaker is suffering from hypothermia after flipping over in the waters near Garry Point Park on Sunday.
The man, who was believed to be kayaking on his own, had flipped upside down into the water near the third beach at Garry Point and was hanging onto the kayak for at least 10 minutes in the freezing water before being pulled out.
Andrew Reid, a Richmond resident, was biking along the Garry Point trails with his family when they saw the incident.
“The current was pretty strong and it kept pushing the kayaker toward the poles in the water,” said Reid, adding that his wife had called Marine Rescue and 9-1-1 for help the moment they saw the flipped kayak.
He told the Richmond News that a fishing boat was nearby and they, along with other community members, flagged the boat down to help the victim.
However, the boat was having difficulty reaching the kayaker.
Reid, citing a member with the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue who was on the phone with his wife, said the boat, if not careful, could have capsized along with the kayaker due to the same strong currents.
“When the current somehow pushed the kayaker away from the pole, the fisher woman was eventually able to guide the kayaker and his kayak closer to the shore, where the water was calmer, and that was when we saw him climb onto the boat.”
Upon reaching the dock, the woman on the boat, Reid and another individual helped the kayaker out of the boat and walk up to the hill where two ambulance vehicles were waiting.
The kayaker, said Reid, didn't seem like he was "properly equipped."
“He had full rain gear on and a pair of vinyl gloves on, but he didn’t have a wet suit.
“If anyone plans to kayak during this time and weather, I think people need to remember to plan and dress for a terrible day and not for a good day.”
The kayaker was treated for hypothermia on site and it's unclear if he was sent to the hospital afterwards.
The Richmond News has reached out to BCEHS for more information.