On Thursday afternoon, July 22, 2021, Whitehorse RCMP responded to a call about a man in the water of the Yukon River near downtown. While police were en route both on land and in the RCMP boat, Scott McDougall, owner of Kanoe People, also observed the man in the water and launched a canoe to follow.
The man in the canoe has extensive experience and understood the steps that he needed to follow to keep himself safe while helping the member of the public. This isn't something that police would recommend or ask the average bystander do because of the possible risk, but in this situation police appreciate that he was able to use his extensive knowledge and expertise to safely follow and grab hold of the man in the water. He played a huge role in the rescue efforts, along with an off-duty paramedic and other witnesses and bystanders. Whitehorse Fire department and Yukon EMS also attended to ensure that the man recovered from the water received immediate care when he was safely on shore.
"The courage displayed by Mr. Scott McDougall of Kanoe People was outstanding, and the response of the public and our members and public safety partners was nothing short of remarkable. The RCMP in Yukon have been fully engaged this summer with water rescues, and namely in the Whitehorse detachment area. These rescues have been in addition to the calls for service we receive daily to provide essential core policing services to Yukoners and visitors alike. I urge everyone to use caution around the waterways – this year in particular has posed danger with high and swift moving water," says Insp. Lindsay Ellis of the Whitehorse RCMP.
Whitehorse RCMP encourage anyone spending time on or around the water to wear a lifejacket or PFD at all times and follow safety guidelines and precautions.