Lisa and Gusti Callis were spending the day at the beach Saturday afternoon when they noticed someone calling for help on the water.
“I had just gotten home from town on my bike,” said Lisa. “I walked down to the beach to say hi to my husband and I heard shouting from the water.”
She said they could see someone a third of the way across Kootenay Lake from Kokanee Park Beach. They quickly jumped in their canoe and paddled out to investigate.
“I said to my husband ‘I think we better go out there’. He was swimming back to shore, but going really slow. He had a lifejacket on, but it wasn’t on properly. And he was hauling his daypack,” she said.
Lisa believes the man was nearly hypothermic when they pulled him into their boat.
When they reached shore, emergency vehicles had already been contacted but the man said he was okay. Another Good Samaritan helped him retrieve his kayak.
“When we asked what happened, I don’t know if he was super embarrassed, but he didn’t really want to talk about it. He said ‘I fell out of my boat’ and then he went home,” she said.
The Callis’ neighbour Ursula Lowery originally alerted the Star to the incident.
“I think it should serve as a warning to other people,” said Lowery.
“The lake is still really cold. You need to be careful out there.”
The incident stands as yet another reminder of the importance of lifejackets, after a canoe accident claimed the lives of four youths this year on Slocan Lake.