07-26-2008, 10:49 AM #1
Know before you go into a rescue-it may be you next...get ready..
Rough water rescue in Fort Erie
Posted By JENNIFER PELLEGRINI REVIEW STAFF WRITER
Posted 4 hours ago
- Dan Trent Jr. didn'tthink twice when Niagara Regional Police officers asked him to aid in a rescue effort near Crystal Beach Friday morning.
He was just about to take his 11-year-old son Bradley out on their Jet Skis when the officers asked for help to find two men who were reported lost in Lake Erie after their canoe capsized.
"I went out a couple of times, I didn't find anybody then I went back and found the capsized canoe," said the 41-year-old printing press owner from Lancaster, N. Y., about 16 kilometres east of Buffalo. "I was about three-quarters of a mile out and I headed back in, hoping I'd find them swimming to shore and that's where I found them, probably
about a half-mile out in four-to five-foot waves. As soon as I saw them and saw they had life jackets on I said, 'Thank God.' They jumped on the back of the Jet Ski and I brought them in."
Fort Erie Fire Chief Jim Douglas said the two men - believed to be father and son, set out in the canoe from the west side of Bay Beach around 9:30 a. m., bound for Bertie Bay where relatives have a cottage.
An hour later, 42-year-old Tom Monahan used his cellphone to call his wife to tell her he and 16-year-old P. J. Abbelin of Rochester were in the water and they were unsure whether they would stay with the boat or swim to shore.
Douglas said Monahan's wife called 911, sending emergency crews to the scene.
He said Trent - staying with family and friends at his family's summer house at Crystal Beach - was in the right place at the right time when he found Monahan and Abbelin shortly after noon.
"We had both boats in the water and we were searching, but we weren't searching in the right area," Douglas said. "(Trent) went into a different area and was fortunate enough to find them. He was certainly an integral part of our rescue efforts."
The two men were met on the shore by paramedics who treated them for mild hypothermia - a side-effect, he said, of spending 90 minutes shoulder-deep in water slightly above 21 C.
Douglas said he will recommend Mayor Doug Martin honour Trent with a citation for his quick-thinking, similar to the ones given to John Pearce and Ryan Tomalty, who rescued a woman in the Niagara River a little more than a month ago.
Continued After Advertisement Below
"I think something along that same line would be appropriate," he said.
Trent, however, was something of a reluctant hero.
Conducting an interview on the beach in front of his family's beach house where he was staying with family and friends clearly made him uncomfortable - especially when people began asking for the "hero's autograph."
Two women who say they've known Trent since he was 10 or 12 said how proud they were of him for springing to action.
When asked if he were the senior Trent, a man on the beach seated near the crowd said: "I wish he was my son."
Trent's wife Judy said although she had initial concerns about her husband risking his own safety in the choppy water, she's "extremely proud" of her husband for thinking of others.
"It was very unselfish," she said. "I was worried for him - I didn't want him to flip - and I was hoping he would find then OK. We're just glad it had a positive outcome."
Article ID# 1131108
07-26-2008, 10:57 AM #2
Lancaster man on Jet Ski rescues two after canoe capsizes in Lake Erie
Never got the chance to thank their rescuer
By Maki Becker NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 07/26/08 9:27 AM
Harry Rosettani/Fort Erie Daniel Trent Jr. brought Tom Monahan and nephew Patrick to shore on his Jet Ski.
At 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sheila Abelein got a disturbing phone call. It was her brother, Tom Monahan.
The canoe that he and Abelein’s 16-year-old son, Patrick, had been paddling in Lake Erie — from Bay Beach near Crystal Beach, Ont., toward Bertie Bay — had capsized.
It had seemed like a pleasant, calm day earlier that morning, but as the wind picked up, the water got choppy and a big wave crashed over the 12-foot aluminum canoe, flipping it over.
Monahan, who was calling from the cell phone he had cleverly stashed in a plastic baggie, said he and his nephew were unhurt. Luckily, they both had their life vests on when they fell into the water.
They were hanging onto the overturned canoe, he said. He told Abelein that he believed the canoe was drifting toward shore and asked her to meet them at the beach.
Abelein, who along with her son had spent the night at her brother’s beach cottage, wasn’t panicking just yet. She drove to the dock, got out her binoculars and looked across the lake.
She didn’t see them. She kept looking. Nothing.
“Where the heck are they?” she remembers thinking.
About 20 minutes after the call, Monahan called back.
“We’re right here,” he said. “Can’t you see us?”
Abelein continued to scan the waters for her brother and son. She approached a boater bringing his vessel to the launch and asked him to keep an eye out for them. He agreed and went out on the water.
Still nothing. Monahan called back. There was something different about his voice. He seemed more concerned, even a little scared.
“I didn’t like the way he sounded,” Abelein said.
He said he and his nephew were considering swimming to shore.
Abelein decided that things were getting out of control. She called 911.
Fort Erie police and firefighters arrived at the dock. Rescue boats headed out into the water. A helicopter was called in for the search. The Canadian coast guard put out a call to area boaters to be on the lookout for Monahan and Patrick.
About the same time, a man on a Jet Ski came to the dock. The man, Daniel Trent Jr. of Lancaster, asked if he could help.
Fire Chief Jim Douglas asked him to search one section of the water, and Trent set out.
In the meantime, Monahan and Patrick had begun swimming.
The water, although warm because of the time of year, was starting to feel cold. Douglas explained that prolonged exposure to lake water, even in the summer, can cause hypothermia.
He also said water rescues can be challenging when the water is rough.
“With choppy water, it’s difficult,” he said. “They can be within feet of you, but if they are down low you might not see them.”
Patrick is a lifeguard, so he was managing well. But his uncle wasn’t quite as strong a swimmer. They were swimming hard for about a half hour when the Jet Ski pulled up to them.
“Are you the ones from the canoe?” Patrick said Trent asked.
They said they were. Trent then helped them up on his Jet Ski and began making his way back to the shore.
Abelein was elated when she saw them.
Monahan and Patrick were whisked into an ambulance, where they were dried off and warmed up. They didn’t require any further treatment.
In all the commotion, they lost track of Trent.
Trent, who runs D&D Printing of Buffalo with his father, told a photographer at the scene that he was just “lucky enough to find them” and then left the dock.
Patrick and his mother both said Friday afternoon that they wanted the chance to thank Trent.
“I want to thank him a lot,” Patrick said. “Without him, I’d probably still be swimming.”
07-26-2008, 11:14 AM #3
What do ya know! Good job Dan...and good PR for "those annoying machines" that for some reason now seem to bother so many people who are...on the shore...repeat that...on the shore.
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