Police say that on Monday July 18, 2016 at approximately 2:35 p.m. Police, Fire and EMS responded to Augustine Beach in the Town of Wainfleet for a possible drowning.
Due to the unique layout of the beach and lake bed, when the wind and waves reach higher levels, a strong rip current occurs. A rip current is a horizontal current that does not pull people under the water; it pulls people away from shore. Drowning deaths occur when people pulled offshore are unable to keep themselves afloat and swim to shore. This may be due to any combination of fear, panic, exhaustion or lack of swimming skills.
A family from New York State, unaware of the water hazards associated with this area and before they knew it, found themselves in a rip current. The rip current was pulling everybody away from shore in a southeastern direction. Most of the family made it back to shore however, one 37 year old female could not fight the current and continued to be pulled offshore. According to witnesses she was approximately 150 m offshore and getting pulled further out by the second. Multiple calls to 911 were made.
As unsafe as these conditions are for swimming, they are ideal for kite boarders. At the time of the incident, there were four or five kite boarders at this location off of Augustine Beach.
One of the kite boarders noticed the female’s husband frantically calling his attention to an area in the water. The kite boarder, a 40 year old male from Toronto, made his way to the struggling female and was able to hold his kite with one hand and tow the female to shore with the other hand to awaiting emergency personnel.
The female was assessed by paramedics and transported to a local hospital as a precaution. She is accpected to make a full rerecovery.
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