Canoeist stuck in eel grass rescued

According to a Eureka Fire Department News Release, dated August 18, 2011:
Wednesday August 17, 2011, the Eureka Fire Department deployed a rescue swimmer to assist a canoeist who became stuck in eel grass (see the photo below). At 7:00 PM yesterday the Eureka Public Safety Communications Center received a request from the Coast Guard to investigate a boater stuck in the mud next to the Wharfinger building at #1 Marina Way.  On arrival, the Fire Department located a canoe with one occupant stuck in eel grass approximately 75 yards off shore. A Fire Department rescue swimmer swam out to the canoe with a rope and personnel pulled the canoe to shore. Personnel then assisted the canoeist with returning him and his canoe to the marina.

With the support of the Eureka City Council, the Fire Department is developing a new fully trained and equipped near-shore water rescue program.  While water rescues occur infrequently, it’s critical they be accomplished quickly.  When fully operational, the department will have a total of 12 trained and equipped water rescue swimmers for near-shore rescues.  
The temperature of the water in our bay and slough averages in the low 50 degrees.  At these temperatures the onset of hypothermia can occur very quickly.  Boaters are reminded to wear personal floatation devices and use caution as our bay can have treacherous currents and wind conditions.

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