The Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department Dive Rescue & Recovery Team was dispatched at 3:05 PM on Sunday August 13, 2023 to a report of an overturned canoe with two individuals in the water who were no longer visible on the surface to witnesses on the beach.
The SLVFD responded to the Lake Clear beach with Utility 146, Marine 1, and Heavy Rescue 147 with 14 members, including five divers. The Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad and four NYSDEC Rangers also responded to the call.
The SLVFD and NYSDEC conducted multiple witness interviews and a simultaneous boat search of the lake. Following a brief search and investigation the two individuals were located and accounted for at a nearby residence. Family members of the two individuals, who were unaware of the multi agency response and on going search operations eventually arrived on scene by boat to retrieve the canoe. They reported the two individuals were safe at home and were wearing PFD's "Life Jackets" at the time of the incident. They stated the two were able to swim to shore and walk home without injuries. The overturned canoe was removed from the lake and returned to the owners.
We would like to thank all the beach goers for their amazing patience, cooperation and assistance in providing excellent detailed and accurate information regarding the incident. The information you provided helped to quickly resolve the incident and establish a well defined search area in the event that dive operations became necessary.
The Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department has responded to several water related emergencies this summer. We would like to remind everyone to please be safe on our lakes, rivers and ponds. Always wear the proper personal protective equipment for the weather conditions and activity you are doing, such as a Life Jacket. Life Jackets save lives. Due to all the rain this summer, our lakes and rivers are much higher than normal for this time of year. Rivers are full to their banks and have deceivingly stronger and faster downstream currents.