2023 Report for "Last Chance"

By: Richard L. Withington

Volume 18, Issue 12, December 2023

I am pleased to report that, so far, this has been a relatively quiet season for the fireboat. We were busy with training additional crew, completing some major upgrades in the navigational electronics, and also doing routine maintenance.

There were the usual trauma calls for folks injured during recreational activities. Docks get wet and slippery and jumping into a boat at a dock is always tricky. Sometimes the boat has moved a little, between your departure from the dock and your arrival on the boat. One such incident resulted in a serious knee injury.

Parties can also generate incidents. An island gathering was ended abruptly when it was discovered that the mushroom dish had been supplemented by some wild mushrooms. Several people were sickened by the wild mushrooms, and one required advanced life-support and rapid evacuation to the hospital. Fortunately, there were no lasting effects, and everyone recovered.

Boating accidents were fewer than usual. A jet-ski accident resulted in very serious injuries, and a prompt response from the fireboat and a helicopter saved the day. Prompt attention from a passing boater also facilitated rescue and care.

There were the usual boat sinkings at their docks while left unattended. Sometimes, just remembering to put the drain plug in during launching can make a big difference. One boat sank about a mile from shore after hitting an obstruction. Apparently, the crew managed to arrange for their own rescue, and a commercial salvage vessel retrieved the boat the next day.

In any event, we wish everyone Happy Holidays, and we will hope for another wonderful summer next year – and send many, many thanks for our community's continued support.

See you in the spring, Doc.

By Dr. Richard Withington

Dr. Richard (Dick) L. Withington is a retired Orthopaedic Surgeon and is best known on the River for his rescue work, with his boat Stormy. Each winter, Dr. W. writes articles that provide his special view of the Thousand Islands – and we thank him for this.
His first article for TI Life, A Winter Islander, was published in January 2009. It is one of the most read TI Life articles in the past 18 years. To see all of his island experiences, search TI Life under Richard L. Withington for the first 23 article and then search here for the last eight articles written since 2018.

Posted in: Volume 18, Issue 12, December 2023, News article, Places

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