BURLINGTON, Vt. -
A dramatic rescue on Lake Champlain Monday night as three canoeists were pulled from the 37-degree water in a scene witnesses describe as very scary. Onlookers say they heard screams for help coming from the lake after a group of men flipped a canoe.
Burlington fire officials say around 8 p.m., three men in a single canoe off Blodgett Beach were stranded in the lake after their boat capsized. Witnesses say they could see the men and hear their calls for help from the St. John's Club on Central Avenue. Two people on shore jumped into kayaks and paddled to their rescue. The Coast Guard, Burlington Fire Department and EMT personnel also responded.
“They were yelling for help, for assistance-- and fortunately next door there were two people with kayaks, and they got the kayaks in the water and went out and were able to identify the people and get the people to hold onto the kayaks and brought them in,” said Allan Hunt who witnessed the water rescue.
All three men were taken to the hospital to be evaluated for hypothermia. Officials say they only found two of the men wearing life jackets.
Burlington Fire officials urge people to remember that it is important to wear a life jacket at all times and to be extremely cautious right now with the cold lake temperatures.