Search and Rescue called out to 'rescue' Olympian, Simon Whitfield on a SUP Board

Wednesday, 15 January 2014
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This past Monday, a concerned citizen called BC search and rescue saying that a paddle boarder was struggling out in gale-force winds and need help.

Crews geared up and went out to save the day only to find it was Canadian Olympic medallist triathlete, Simon Whitfield who was fine and told the SAR techs that he was, "having a blast in the swells."

All of the excitement took place in the Enterprise Channel off Oak Bay shores just outside Victoria, BC.

"Search-and-rescue [members] are volunteers and I felt badly that they dropped what they were doing and put on all their gear to come out for me," he said, adding they were "all class" on Twitter.

While he had all the gear including PFD and a drysuit, his would be rescuers suggested to him that he carry a VHF radio when out on the board as he could have responded to the general marine broadcast on Channel 16 and let everyone know he was not in difficulty.

Simon Whitfield has had a hugely successful triathlon career. Before retiring 2013 he won the Canadian triathlon championships 10 consecutive times along with gold in the 2000 and silver in the 2008 Olympics.

Glad his adventure turned out ok in the end.

Photo credit: Simon Whitfield

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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