Life Jackets Saved a Father & Son after Their Canoe Capsized
Maine Game Wardens are crediting life jackets with saving the lives of a father and son after their canoe capsized in Hopkins Pond on Sunday.
What started out as a father-son canoe trip on Hopkins Pond in Clifton could have turned tragic if not for the life jackets both people were wearing. When 59-year-old Ranjit Pandher and his 9-year-old son Amandeep shifted position, their canoe capsized, just after 5:00 Sunday evening. Wardens say, because of the life jackets, Ranjit was able to climb back into the boat. Amandeep remained in the water, hanging onto the side of the canoe. It was from there that the child was able to call 911.
Help was dispatched from the Holden and Eddington Fire Departments, as well as the Maine Warden Service. A Maine Forest Service helicopter also responded, but was not needed in the rescue. One of the Game Wardens called Geoff Smith, a contact who lives on Hopkins Pond. Smith and an Eddington firefighter went out in Smith's boat to rescue the Pandhers. Once the pair was safely on shore, they were taken to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, where they were treated and released for hypothermia.
Game Warden Sergeant Alan Gillis said the story could have had a tragic end had the Pandhers not been wearing their life jackets. Too often, boaters have the life jackets in the boat, but don't wear them, believing there's time to grab them as the boat capsizes.
"This time of year," Gillis said in a media release, "hypothermia sets in quickly and you lost your ability to swim and stay afloat."
Officials say the safest practice is to wear the life jackets, at all times, just in case you end up in the water.