Gabriola Island Kayak Rescue Comes Just At Right Time

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Kayakers near Gabriola Island were rescued just in time as Royal Canadian Marine Search and REscue units were conducting an exercise. (Royal Canadian Marine SAR) | Royal Canadian Marine SAR

NANAIMO, B.C. - Three marine search and rescue crews were in the right place at the right time on Sunday and two kayakers may owe their lives to those training exercises off Vancouver Island.

The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue units from Nanaimo and Ladysmith were training in waters off Boat Harbour, in Georgia Strait, just south of Gabriola Island, when they received a call about someone in trouble in the same general area.

The crews soon spotted two men waving frantically, after being tossed into the chilly water about 20 minutes earlier when their kayak capsized.

Rescuers say the men were already suffering from hypothermia by the time they were pulled aboard.

Members of the marine search and rescue group note the usual response time for such a call is about 30 minutes.

They say if they hadn't been in the area and able to immediately help the kayakers, the outcome could have been much different. (CKAY)

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