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Peel police marine unit made dramatic rescue during Friday’s windstorm

News Staff | posted Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Thanks to the Peel Regional Police Marine Unit, the captain didn’t go down with the ship.

The unit received a distress call just after 4 p.m. last Friday for a sailboat that had experienced mechanical issues and was caught in the truculent waters of Lake Ontario during an intense storm that battered the Greater Toronto Area, toppling trees and knocking out power to thousands.

Within a half hour, the marine unit spotted the vessel offshore from Mississauga.

Battling winds approaching 100 km/h and crashing waves up to four metres high, Const. Adam Nicol boarded the sailboat and secured a towline.

The marine unit towed the vessel for about three kilometres before the winds became even stronger and changed direction, forcing them to abandon the sailboat so they could make it to shore safely.

“They could no longer make any headway and the towed vessel had to be abandoned,” Peel police explained in a release. “The captain, who was alone, was rescued from his vessel and the officer re-boarded the marine vessel.”

The crew, along with the rescued sailor, safely made it back to land and docked at Port Credit harbour.

The marine unit found the abandoned sailboat the next day. It had drifted about 16 kilometres toward Niagara Falls.

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