London man survives harrowing night on stormy seas
London Community News
A 66-year-old London man had to think quick and act quick to save himself from not one but two sailboats battered by a weekend storm on Lake Erie.
The man was asleep aboard his boat, the Antares, which was anchored in an inner harbour in Port Stanley, when he was awakened by a large bang at about 11 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 4).
The boat’s anchor had not held and the vessel had crashed against rocks along the break wall on the eastern edge of the harbour.
Numerous unsuccessful attempts were made to start the boat’s motor and secure the boat to the surrounding rocks and the man, fearing for his safety and spotting another stationary sailboat nearby called the Sideways, abandoned his boat and made for the Sideways.
The Antares, meanwhile, ended up drifting along the shoreline to the end of Queen Street in Port Stanley.
The man, while aboard the Sideways, made a number of attempts to signal passing boaters with a flashlight but was unsuccessful and at roughly 5 a.m. the Sideways capsized.
The man was able to climb onto a rock break wall and sat there until the Central Elgin Fire Department rescued him.
Braving large waves, rescue crews made their way through the water to the stranded man and managed to retrieve him from the break wall.
He was transported to hospital for treatment of minor hypothermia and minor injuries.
Police said the owners of the Sideways had not been on the boat overnight and were safe.
The owners of both vessels will be making arrangements to have their damaged boats removed from the waterway, police said.