Overturned Canoe Prompts Investigation
By Firefighter Nicholas Maneely
November 17, 2022

On November 17th at approximately 1629 hours, Canton Fire and Canton Rescue, along with local law enforcement, were dispatched to reports of an overturned canoe trapped on the water falls. The initial dispatch information was that a person was on the rocks as well. Chief Crowe arrived on scene at 1630 and confirmed the presence of the canoe but no person was seen. As units and personnel arrived, crews were assigned different tasks. Some members suited up in cold water suits for possible entry into the water while other member began to rig ropes that would be used to support an in-water operation. Additional members under the direction of Assistant Chief Cary, as well as officers from SUNY Canton Police and the New York State Police, walked the riverbank down stream on both sides of the river to look for a possible victim. Assistant Chief McGregor was assigned to lead the water operations. Chief Crowe requested drone support from the SLC Sheriff's Office to search the river using its thermal imaging capabilities. The initial caller was recontacted for further information and advised that they hadn't seen a person on the rocks, only some personal items on the rocks along with the canoe. Deputies with the Sheriff's Office flew the drone over the river multiple times and did not locate any victim. Chief Crowe directed that members to retrieve the canoe, which was believed to have floated downstream unaccompanied, to prevent further reports of its presence on the rocks. The canoe was turned over to the Canton Police Department. Twenty seven members responded and all units were back in service at 1745.

With the weather changing and recent heavy rainfall, the Canton Fire Department would like to remind canoe and kayak owners to please move their boats away from the shore to prevent them from floating away and causing incidents like this one.

Units: Rescue 1, Rescue 36
Mutual Aid: Canton Rescue, Canton PD, SUNY Canton PD, New York State Police, and St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office