Vancouver Tourist Killed In Mexico

Discussion in 'Paddling Safety' started by Steve_Fairbairn, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. Steve_Fairbairn

    Steve_Fairbairn Paddler

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    Just read this on News1130:

    A woman from Vancouver has died while kayaking in the Sea of Cortez, near Loreto, on the Baja Peninsula. Police in Loreto have identified her as Victoria Berg. Tour operators say Berg and two other women rented kayaks in Loreto, from a company based on Gabriola Island that has an operation on the Baja during the winter. The women claimed to be experienced kayakers and were advised the winds were picking up, but they decided to head to sea without a guide. When a storm came up, Berg's kayak flipped and the other two women were rescued from Isla Carmen after calling in a mayday. Her body was recovered near the Island.
     
  2. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    Steeve, your heading should read: Vancouver Tourist killed herself in Mexico. One can get wrong impression by interpreting it as: Oh, no, another innocent Canadian woman robbed, raped and killed by mexicans, which was not the case.

    We do lots of stupid things, especially while on holidays. I'm surprised that it was a female paddler. Women are usually more cautious in risk asessment situation and err on the safe site.

    I symphatize with her family and friends and recommend paddlers to be more open to others advice.
     
  3. Steve_Fairbairn

    Steve_Fairbairn Paddler

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    I just used the same (sensationalist) headline that the newswire used. Nevertheless, it's a sobering reminder of the risks associated with paddling. :cry:
     
  4. dvfrggr

    dvfrggr Paddler

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    steve wrote
    reading bad news like this reminds me that i need to spend more time practicing rescue techniques,self and assisted.
    i also think it's a good time to open up SEA KAYAKER DEEP TROUBLE True stories and their lessons from sea kayaker magazine.
    this is a must read to help keep any sane paddler from this.
    gregn wrote
    in reading DEEP TROUBLE you will understand how these tragedies happen to novices thru experts and the decision making process we need to go thru to prevent them or handle them to a safe conclusion.
     
  5. Steve_Fairbairn

    Steve_Fairbairn Paddler

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    Somebody sent me this link from the Victoria Times Colonist that shed a lot more detail on what happened.

    Kayak outing in Mexico turns tragic

    Joanne Hatherly, Times Colonist
    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    Little more than an hour after pushing off in rented kayaks from a small island in Mexico's Sea of Cortez, Christine Richardson and Pamela Fennell watched their lifelong friend Victoria Seay vanish in a fight against sudden strong winds and nine-metre-high waves.

    Seay, 35, lost her life sometime during the night that followed, but not before saving her lifelong friends.

    "I wouldn't be talking to you right now were it not for her," Richardson said in a telephone interview Wednesday from Loreto, Mexico, where she and Fennell were preparing to return to Canada.

    Seay, an elite athlete, had moved from Ottawa to Victoria to train with Canada's national duathlon and triathlon teams, supporting herself as an information technology specialist with IBM Canada. She relocated to Vancouver recently.

    The weather was clear when the vacationing trio broke camp from Carmen Island Sunday morning and set out on the half-day kayak trip to Coronado Island.

    Canadian Ron Bellerive, who owns a resort in Loreto, was one of many who responded to Seay's mayday call at about 10 a.m. "What they didn't know when they left the island they were camped on was that they were in a protected part of the island, essentially it was the wind's shadow," said Bellerive. "It wasn't until they got out into open water that they got into trouble fairly quickly."

    Richardson, a doctor in a hospital emergency room in London, Ont., said the trio was well into their journey when they got into trouble. "By the time we got partway across and the wind started picking up fast, we couldn't turn back."

    Fennell's kayak was the first to flip.

    "We managed to get her up," said Richardson. "We tried to hold on to each other. There wasn't time to tie the kayaks together, we were just holding on with our arms." They were unable to maintain their hold, and Seay slipped away. They lost sight of her in the waves.

    "When we last saw her, she was still paddling strong," said Richardson. She also was able to radio a mayday call, launching a rescue effort from Loreto and the boating community.

    Richardson and Fennell were picked up at 5 p.m. by Americans on the yacht Ozark Lady. Once on board, the pair learned that Seay had kept radio contact with searchers throughout the day. They were able to speak with her.

    "She was frustrated, trying to give the searchers her location, but she couldn't get any sightings. The waves were so high," Richardson recalled. At 8:30 p.m., Seay made her last contact with her friends. She said she was cold.

    Seay's body was recovered Monday morning by the same people who had rescued her companions. Richardson and Fennell were still on the Ozark Lady when Seay was found, floating in her lifejacket. "I can't speak about when we found her," said Richardson.

    "The official report is that she drowned, but I would say she died of hypothermia, maybe drowned." Other searchers recovered the kayaks later Monday.

    A memorial service in Victoria is being arranged to coincide with Seay's funeral in Ottawa.
     
  6. fester

    fester Paddler

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    "Sudden strong winds and nine metre high waves". Nine metres is a big wave.I've never experienced anything close to that, but I can't imagine that sea state devloping without some warning.

    They had a radio,maybe they neglected to check the weather? Good thing she knew how to get out a distress call.
     
  7. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    That 9 metre figure has to be wrong. But even a 4-5 metre sea would be devastating. Yes, they ventured out into a big wind from a protected shore.
     
  8. fester

    fester Paddler

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    It wouldn't be the first time the newspaper got thier facts wrong. Maybe they confused feet with metres. Even nine feet is still one hell of a big wave.