Fire Dept. Responds to Kayakers in Distress in Frigid Temps

The Norwalk Fire Department responded to a report of two people in a kayak in distress.  At 10:37a.m. Sunday morning Norwalk combined dispatched received a 911 call from a resident reporting that two people were aboard a small kayak trying to chop through the ice to make it back to shore.  

The caller stated that the people appeared to be in distress and where about 75 to 100 feet off shore near the Marvin beach area.  

The Norwalk Fire Department was dispatched and responded with their 38-foot boat, which has the capabilities to break through ice and has a heated cabin to warm up any patients if needed.

The boat was underway within ten minutes of the initial call and made contact with the kayakers at 11:01a.m.  

The firefighters observed the kayakers attempting to break through ice which was 1 to 2 inches thick  in places.   

Both kayakers were in good health but did not have any protective gear with them and were dressed in street clothes with no extra thermal value.  The air temperature was in the 20’s,  water temperature was 32 degrees with freezing drizzle.  

In these condition hypothermia could set in and loss of dexterity would occur in under 2 minutes and  unconsciousness in under 15 minutes.  

Both kayakers were taken aboard the boat and brought to shore in good condition. The Norwalk fire boat was back in service at 11:36a.m. This boat is ready to responded  365 days a year, 24 hours a day, staffed with firefighters from the East Norwalk Fire Station.


David Park January 06, 2014 at 06:37 AM
The first "Darwin Award" of the new year, but glad they are safe. Kayakers need lessons on cold shock and hypothermia, proper dress and safety equip for this time of year which includes a dry suit and life jacket. As much as several organizations and individuals try to educate the public on boating safety, there is always more work to be done. It is very frustrating. David Park


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