Two Vernon men watch as Tyrel Locke hangs onto their canoe that flipped in Swan Lake Wednesday, April 28 but thankfully a crew from Kingfisher Boats saved them. (Kevin Bergh photo)

Two Vernon men watch as Tyrel Locke hangs onto their canoe that flipped in Swan Lake Wednesday, April 28 but thankfully a crew from Kingfisher Boats saved them. (Kevin Bergh photo)

‘Superheroes’ rescue overturned Okanagan fishermen

Kingfisher staff were testing a boat when they heard the cries for help

Two Vernon men got a little too excited after hooking a fish and ended up overturned in their canoe Wednesday, in Swan Lake.

Lucky for them, their cries for help were heard by one of the few boats on the lake that day.

Kevin Bergh was on the lake with his Kingfisher coworkers, Tyrel Locke and Adam Raber, testing out a pre-production jet boat.

They had just launched the boat, zoomed across the lake and were idling when they heard something over the motor noise around 11 a.m.

“We heard some sort of faint yelling in the distance,” said Bergh, product development designer at the Spallumcheen facility.

They scanned the lake trying to find where the noise was coming from until they spotted something on the west shore of the lake, around 800 metres from the boat launch and 100 metres from shore.

“Eventually we saw two heads and an overturned canoe in the water about 300 yards away from us.”

Two seniors had been out fishing when they hooked a fish.

“In the excitement, they lost their balance and overturned their canoe,” Bergh said.

The Kingfisher crew pulled the shivering men aboard and even managed to rescue all their gear and canoe, except for a set of keys.

“One of them wasn’t too good of a swimmer, so it was good that we were there,” Bergh said.

Although they were wearing life jackets, the water filled their clothes and made it difficult for the men to swim. It was warm outside, approximately 19 C, but the water was still cold.

“They were thanking us profusely,” said Bergh, who is regularly out on Swan Lake testing boats, or Okanagan Lake.

In fact, the men called Kingfisher the next day to let the company know what great employees they have.

“They were calling us superheroes.”

But for Bergh, it was just about being at the right place at the right time.

“As boaters, we all have a shared responsibility to ensure everyone’s safety on the water.”

The fish got away that day, but the fishermen have an even bigger tale to tell.

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@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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