Police rescue rowers after Hamilton harbour storm capsizes boats

At 7:20 am on Thursday April 28th, 2011, the Hamilton Police Service Marine Unit responded to rescue several capsized rowers on the Hamilton Harbour. Storm conditions had caused waves in excess of two metres accompanied by high winds.

Five Hamilton high school rowing teams were on the water when the storm struck causing two boats to capsize. Several students entered the water when an eight person boat to broke in half. Some of the students and their adult coaches were successful in removing themselves from the frigid water. Participating high schools included, St. Mary’s, Westdale, Ancaster, Bishop Tonnos and Hillfield Strathallan.

Two Hamilton marine vessels, carrying five officers, were used in the rescue assisted by a Halton Regional Police Service boat carrying three Halton officers. The marine officers were able to rescue the remaining four students, and 2 adults from the water. It is believed that some of the students were in to water for fifteen to twenty minutes. As a result, eight students were transported to McMaster Hospital to be treated for mild hypothermia. All students were accounted for and no injuries were suffered.

Both police agencies wish to inform the public that as many as five boats remain unmanned on the water. Harbour conditions did not allow for the recovery of the boats at this time

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