Responders rescue Ludlow man from Lake Warner after canoe capsizes

  • File photo

Staff Writer
Published: 11/28/2022 2:23:10 PM
Modified: 11/28/2022 2:22:53 PM

HADLEY — A Ludlow man canoeing at Lake Warner, unable to make it back to shore after the boat capsized, was rescued early Saturday evening from a marshy inlet following a nearly two-hour effort involving local and state public safety departments, according to Hadley police.

Police Lt. Mitchell Kuc said police were contacted by a family member at 5:54 p.m. concerned for the man’s welfare after he had launched the boat from Mount Warner Road earlier in the day, but had not returned home.

Officers located the man’s parked car, without the canoe, near the pond about 10 minutes after the initial call.

Putting out an appeal for assistance from Hadley firefighters and the Massachusetts State Police air wing in Boston, police a short time later obtained the man’s cellphone contact information, and using that were able to get a “ping” from it indicating he was located near 285 River Drive.

There, first responders got sight of the 68-year-old man in his canoe, and heard him yelling out.

“Upon the arrival of police and fire to that location, responders could hear calls for help from the water, although several attempts to reach the boater through the thick brush and marshy areas of the pond were unsuccessful,” Kuc said.

Determining that the man was safely back on the boat, even though he had gone into the water earlier, the department awaited rescue boats from both the South Hadley and Northampton fire departments, as well as the air wing, all of which arrived at around 7:30 p.m. The rescuers were then able to get the man out of the boat safely and without incident, Kuc said.

The man was transported by Action Ambulance, the town’s ambulance provider, to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton for evaluation, though Kuc said that was mostly a precaution, as the man didn’t appear to be suffering from any injuries.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at
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