New Brunswick woman credits kayakers with saving her life
After a near-death experience at sea, a New Brunswick woman is grateful for the men who saved her before it was too late.
On Monday, Olga Bateman was celebrating a family reunion on the Cape Spear shore off of the Northumberland Straight. Taking her inflatable boat out on the water, she soon found herself in trouble and being pulled further out to sea.
"The wind picked up, and it started blowing in the direction against where I wanted to go,” says Bateman. “So it was driving me out because it was pulling the anchor."
Eventually, her boat tipped over, causing Bateman to fall in the water. She attempted to maintain a steady grip on the boat, but heat and wind worked against her.
"My knuckles were hurting from holding onto the rope, and my arm was getting tired from holding over the boat,” says Bateman. “I thought 'how long can I do this?'"
Bateman says she said a prayer while her calls for help went answered. Minutes later, kayaker Chris Martin and his brother-in-law arrived to save Bateman.
"We just thought, ‘let’s go check it out – if it’s a false alarm, we'll just come back,’" says Martin.
Upon discovering Bateman in distress, the men then proceeded to tow Bateman back to shore.
“We put the anchor on our kayak, and she held onto the handle at the back of the kayak, because we didn’t want her to get in – in case it tipped," says Martin.
Martin says Bateman was very fortunate given the circumstances and says her decision to wear a personal floatation device was a life-saving one.
"If she didn’t have a lifejacket on and she couldn’t hold onto the raft, she would’ve went under," says Martin.
An extra grateful Bateman says she owes her life to the men, saying is so thankful that words cannot express her gratitude. Meanwhile, her rescuers remain humble.
"Well, I’ve never really done that before,” says Martin. “So it’s definitely a day I'll remember."
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kate Walker