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spud
member (15)member
 
05/20/2020 08:02PM
Not the way to have the BWCA season start...
Always wear your PFD, you never know when you'll need it..

https://www.fox9.com/news/man-dies-after-canoe-capsizes-on-lake-in-the-bwca

(i dont claim to know if the victim was not wearing a pfd, only that this is a reminder that we should always wear it when in the water.)
 
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DuluthPak
distinguished member(751)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/20/2020 08:21PM
Oh no. What a horrible tragedy. Thoughts are with the family of the deceased.
 
schweady
distinguished member(6864)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/20/2020 08:22PM
Incredibly sad start.

Amid all of the uncertainty of these past two months, one piece of advice remains clear: Wearing protective equipment may easily mean the difference between life and death. It doesn't make you look like a dork.

EDIT: After reading the article again, there was no mention as to whether the victim was or was not wearing a PFD. My apologies for making the assumption based on the OP's wording. I'll leave my statement re preparedness as is, however. Sad in any case.
 
Argo
senior member (61)senior membersenior member
 
05/20/2020 08:28PM
spud: "Not the way to have the BWCA season start...
Always wear your PFD, you never know when you'll need it..

https://www.fox9.com/news/man-dies-after-canoe-capsizes-on-lake-in-the-bwca "


I'm going to beg your pardon but the referenced article makes no mention of whether the man was wearing a PFD. Plus a float plane was able to recover his body an hour and a half later after capsizing - one would presume because it was floating. Drowned bodies sink. It takes several days for a corpse to surface.
 
PaddlinMadeline
distinguished member(526)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/20/2020 08:44PM
Very sad. Hope the best for everyone.
 
jillpine
distinguished member (418)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/20/2020 08:48PM
Deepest condolences to the family and friends of this person. So sad.
The water is ice cold right now, and conditions were very windy early this week.
 
05/20/2020 09:47PM
A terribly sad way to finally be able to get outside and then be struck with tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved.
 
andym
distinguished member(4732)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/21/2020 01:58AM
Very sad for everyone involved. That is a rough start to the camping season, regardless of how it happened.

On a positive note for PFDs, we just had a rescue of three people from a disabled sailboat off the coast from where I live. The Coast Guard plucked them out of the water using a helicopter and a rescue swimmer in 15’ seas. The Coast Guard cited PFDs as one of the reasons all three people survived. Other keys were cell phones to call for help and flares because it was so dark that they couldn’t see the sailboat without the flares. Plus kudos for the whole crew. It takes some skill to fly those missions in high winds and serious bravery to jump into the water with 15’ seas.
 
05/21/2020 05:52AM
A very sad thing. So young. Condolences to those he left behind.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12430)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
05/21/2020 01:09PM
Sad day for all involved and the extended canoe family meaning us.

I don't know the situation what happened there. I have no idea?

But yes wear that PFD and know your limits. It has been awful windy lately. One thing any old wise canoe person will tell you be patient. There are time you just take a nap on shore instead of trying to beat the wind. Some people have a appointed date to come out. Well it is better to be late coming out than not at all.

 
BearBurrito
distinguished member(779)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/21/2020 01:19PM
This is very sad news. I will be praying for the family.
 
heypaddler
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
 
05/21/2020 04:56PM
Argo: "spud: "Not the way to have the BWCA season start...
Always wear your PFD, you never know when you'll need it..


https://www.fox9.com/news/man-dies-after-canoe-capsizes-on-lake-in-the-bwca "



I'm going to beg your pardon but the referenced article makes no mention of whether the man was wearing a PFD. Plus a float plane was able to recover his body an hour and a half later after capsizing - one would presume because it was floating. Drowned bodies sink. It takes several days for a corpse to surface. "


He may have been in relatively shallow water. There was a quick response with no doubt divers involved. Quick recovery should by no means conclude he was wearing PFD.

In any case, PFD or not, any death in the BW is always a good reminder to wear the one thing that will most likely save your life should you encounter any trouble -- a PFD!

Thoughts are with the family.
 
05/21/2020 05:52PM
The last I saw said they recovered the body after about 90 minutes.

Link
 
BWPaddler
distinguished member(9196)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/21/2020 07:23PM
Since there were survivors, will probably get more of the story later. What an awful way to start the season... so sad for all.
 
adam
Moderator
 
05/22/2020 12:32PM
They have identified the individual. He was wearing a life jacket and hypothermia is being ruled the cause of death.
 
LindenTree
distinguished member(2415)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/22/2020 01:05PM
WTIP interviewed the deceased girlfriend on the radio today. She talked to the survivors and stated that they spent 15 minutes trying to right the canoe. They righted it but it filled back up with water due to large waves, they then swam for shore but the one guy never made it.
 
DuluthPak
distinguished member(751)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/22/2020 01:12PM
Here is the link to Joe Friedrichs' WTIP interview with the girlfriend of the deceased. Incredible interview. Some detailed info on how this tragedy unfolded.

RIP Billy Cameron
 
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2099)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/22/2020 02:31PM
That is both an informative and touching interview. What fortitude his girlfriend showed in being able to tell Billy’s story at this difficult time. Such a tragedy, yet grateful the two young men were able to manage their way to shore. Peace to Billy’s friends and loved ones.
 
RodBender
member (14)member
 
05/22/2020 02:57PM
The interview brought tears to my eyes. I have the same Birthday as Billy. Will be entering Seagull on Sunday. I brought a book to read if its windy.
 
andym
distinguished member(4732)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/22/2020 03:08PM
That is a very moving interview and very giving of her to talk about Billy's life and the accident that led to his death.

Because she was willing to urge people to be careful and stay safe with the cold water, I want to mention one part of safety that I haven't seen being part of the BWCA culture. That is dressing for immersion. I think I've mentioned this before but in the local sea kayaking culture around where I live, dressing for immersion is defined as being willing to jump in the water before you get in your boat. We have cold water year-round and it is rare to see someone without a wetsuit or dry suit. Maybe because we are also a surfing area, wetsuits are completely cool and accepted. It really can make a difference if you wind up in the water. I think in the BW people dress for the weather and wear wool or polypro clothes that will keep you warm on land, even if wet. I also know that it is tricky because paddling and portaging means that you are in and out of the boat and so you have to deal with being on land too. But I wish people who went early in the season would dress for immersion. If it became part of the culture, people would be safer.
 
05/22/2020 04:09PM
I heard it was most likely a dry drowning which is what happened to my buddy when we were up on knife in 2001. Even if it looks nice the water is very cold this time of the year. Be careful stay close to shore
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12430)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
05/22/2020 04:10PM
Like I said earlier and andym repeated. Know your limits and even if you think you can respect the wind. Like that day I think winds were in the 30MPH and greater if it wasn't than it was that week. Anyhow I have seen way too many test mother nature on the lake.

Part of canoeing is going with the flow(take what mother nature gives you) and respect the limits of a canoe-and yes your limit also. Enjoy take a break and watch the wind blow. If your late getting out, so be it. At least you were still walking and paddling at the end.

Also often you pretty much know it is going to get windy-get going as earliest as you can handle. We have started like a hour before daybreak before.
 
CityFisher74
distinguished member (410)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/22/2020 04:12PM
RIP young man, and my deepest condolences and sympathy to the family, and the ones who were with him. What a horrible thing to experience.
 
gymcoachdon
distinguished member(511)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/22/2020 07:24PM
Wow, tough interview, but one that should be listened to by everyone before heading out. Stay safe everyone.
 
Blatz
distinguished member(1320)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/22/2020 08:43PM
That's very sad
 
Portage99
distinguished member (348)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/22/2020 09:24PM
This is super sad. Cold water cannot be underestimated. This is sad news to hear.

I have told this story before. But I will tell it again. One winter, after a paddle, I tested myself in cold water. I set up a safe, shallow area along the shore, with a friend assisting. I wanted to know if what I was wearing would work in the cold water if I dunked. For the most part, it worked. I learned about a couple of weak areas pretty quickly.

Then I took off my gloves and a wetsuit top layer. Even though logically I had read about cold water, I was shocked at how quickly I was immobilized. My hands were totally useless in short order.

I really think everybody should have a safe cold water simulation. It helps you understand the drastic and immediate effects on the body and your breathing.
 
05/23/2020 11:17AM
Tragic. Thoughts and prayers to all who knew this young man.
 
Jeriatric
distinguished member(4172)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/23/2020 05:09PM
This story reminds me of a capsizing my brother and I experienced on Billy Chinook Reservoir in Oregon, I wrote about it on these pages but have not been able to find the story again.
The water temp and the air temp were both 46 degrees. We also tried to get back into the canoe (for too long). I don't think we could have reached shore after struggling with the canoe.
Finally, a boat (the same one that had swamped us) came into view. I think we had been immersed for 25-45 minutes.

The rescuers could not get us into their boat and had to tow us to shore. Once in the boat, my legs would not support me. I just curled up on the bottom. My brother was shaking like crazy while I was not shaking at all. I am guessing that I was in the worst shape.

Safe in our motel room, we researched our chances in 46 degree water. We should have lost consciousness in 30 minutes to an hour.

 
gymcoachdon
distinguished member(511)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/23/2020 06:22PM
The rule of thumb I have heard is that if water and air temp added together are under 100, it is dangerous. Of course with really cold water and warm air, you still need to get out of the water to take advantage of the warm air.
 
Aldy1
distinguished member (143)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/23/2020 06:59PM
My group was the first to find the guys on Tuscarora on Wednesday around 11:30am. We were flagged down by the guy who managed to swim back to the island site. He told us what happened and we quickly went to help get his friend who was still across the lake since Tuesday night. Once we brought him back to their site, we let the two know we’d head back to the outfitter to start the process for a search and rescue.

I’m thankful for a solo paddler on Missing Link who had a satellite phone. The Beaver plane was on the lake searching in the next 30 minutes or so.

Very impressed with the search and rescue team. They got the boys out that night. The guy on the shore said he planned to attempt to swim to the island site around 1pm Wednesday, he seemed to be in desperation mode.

The water was so cold, that would have been a bad idea. All three had life jackets on.

RIP Billy.
 
DuluthPak
distinguished member(751)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/23/2020 07:29PM
Wow! Those two survivors were separated all night soaking wet and likely without any supplies. Thank you Aldi so much for sharing this part of the story. That must have been an incredibly stressful situation.

You likely saved another life or two. Nice work Aldi! RIP Billy.
 
Mocha
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05/23/2020 07:36PM
Wow, now it's even harder to know the capsize happened Tuesday and they spent the night separated, most likely not knowing the outcome of all 3. Thanks so much for coming to their rescue and using your trip time to help them. And now this will restart the conversation on whether to take emergency phone, plb, spot... Did spring and fall trips.

Freak accidents happen, I guess. This is just too sad for all involved
 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(879)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/23/2020 08:11PM
It is a good idea to carry your PLB on your person, a knife and lighter also a good idea. Your survival gear is going to be what you have with you. In many cases that means what's on you. In this case it sounds like the only survival gear was PFDs. Camping gear was with the boat?

More people this summer will = more rescues and recoveries.
 
Aldy1
distinguished member (143)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/23/2020 09:35PM
Another note to help clarify the situation they were in.

They were fishing from the shore on the site they were staying at and got a snag on their line, which lead to all three hopping in the canoe to retrieve it and to fish a bit near the island site they were staying on. They believe they flipped the canoe when one may have caught a fish, causing a jerk. Those three person canoes can be very tippy with no weight in the boat. Just a freak accident. It’s amazing the two survived for how long they were in the water. They said it was probably an hour.

 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(879)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/23/2020 09:51PM
Aldy1 thanks for the clarification.
Something so simple turned deadly. I feel for all of them.
 
andym
distinguished member(4732)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/23/2020 10:33PM
Oh my, Aldy1. First, thank you for your work to keep the two survivors safe and start the search for Billy. Good job.

Second, thank you for the additional info. So many accidents happen when people don't intend to get out on the water (although I guess once in the canoe they decided to fish a bit). This is so reminiscent of the mother and son who drowned on Chesapeake Bay at the beginning of April. They used a canoe to try and get a ball that went into the water and wound up in rough water outside the little cove where they started.
 
Argo
senior member (61)senior membersenior member
 
05/24/2020 08:12AM
So many great points about being prepared.

At summer camp in the 70s we had several proficiency test we had to try:

One we had to perform to be able to put on your life jacket in the water and tie it up. Amazing how many couldn't do it - although PFDs in those days were more cumbersome.

Another was canoe salvage - lift a capsized from the water upside-down across your own canoe, right it and launch. The capsized party then had to renter the canoe from the water. The re-entry into the canoe part had to be demonstrated both solo and with a partner.

Some guys could even shake out a capsized canoe from the water and climb back in. That's quite a feat with an old-fashioned wood-canvas canoe weighing about 70 lbs.

Camp was in the warmer summer months in southern Ontario so water temps were not a threat.
 
johhhhn
 
05/25/2020 05:34PM
Indeed a very sad start to the season. Yes, he was wearing a PFD. They just could not get the canoe righted and spent too much time trying to save the canoe. The lesson to be learned is, this time of year if you dump, ditch the canoe and save yourself by swimming to shore. I was part of this rescue and the two survivors were absolutely devastated.
 
andym
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05/25/2020 05:40PM
Thank you for the assistance you gave the survivors.

The advice to swim to shore is counter to the common advice for capsizes although I see why you say it in this case. Perhaps this needs to vary depending on the situation including distance to shore and water temperature, as you noted. In the tragedy on a Lake Superior last year, the only person to survive was the one who stayed with the kayak. She was fortunate to eventually get a text message out and a nearby ship was able to find her. But the rest of her family drowned during the swim to shore.
 
05/25/2020 07:22PM
Carl at Rockwoods told us about it as it happened the day we arrived. At that point all he knew was someone drown. He thought it was on round. We had a group of youngsters camped near us. No one in that group wore a pfd.
 
neveragoosechase
member (25)member
 
05/26/2020 08:30AM
Aldy1: "Another note to help clarify the situation they were in.

They were fishing from the shore on the site they were staying at and got a snag on their line, which lead to all three hopping in the canoe to retrieve it and to fish a bit near the island site they were staying on. They believe they flipped the canoe when one may have caught a fish, causing a jerk. Those three person canoes can be very tippy with no weight in the boat. Just a freak accident. It’s amazing the two survived for how long they were in the water. They said it was probably an hour. "

Thanks for the firsthand account. This really helps me make sense of it. It was also not clear from the radio story that the accident actually happened Tuesday.
I was over on Gillis and heard the plane engine at least twice, seeing it fly more or less right over me as it left the lake. When I was driving home on Friday, I heard the WTIP interview and some preceding info beforehand. Something about wind and a “freak accident,” but unfortunately not a lot more of concrete info, considering how long that interview was. It was lots more about the victim, which was good, but I was hungry for context since I didn’t know why I’d seen a plane that close while that far into the wilderness.

Anyway, it was kinda windy all my five days, but nothing I thought was reasonable cause for a capsizing. Thank you to john for being ready to save my own sorry self, in the event it had been me. I’m grateful that even though we have such an incredible raw resource, we still have a lifeline and can make it home to our wives and kids.
 
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