Rescuer honoured by Governor General

A former Red Deer man received a Governor General’s award on Monday for helping save three boaters on Gull Lake during the Victoria Day long weekend in 2008.

A former Red Deer man received a Governor General’s award on Monday for helping save three boaters on Gull Lake during the Victoria Day long weekend in 2008.

Rob Steenwyk, who now lives in Kelowna, and friend Ralph Kaiser of Sherwood Park were members of the search party looking for three anglers who got caught in a storm on the lake.

Their five-metre fibreglass outboard boat ran out of gas and their battery died before they could make it back to shore. Their boat filled with water and they were found by rescuers floating in the water with extreme hypothermia.

All three were wearing life-jackets.

Steenwyk, family and friends were camping at the lake when he heard about the missing men — James Shettler, Joey Chapman and Andy Baker.

The RCMP asked Steenwyk and Kaiser to join the search, a first for Steenwyk.

“I’d hope anyone would take that same action,” said Steenwyk, who was to receive his Certificate of Commendation at Kelowna City Hall from Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd, presented on behalf the Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean.

Steenwyk, 44, was excited to get award but downplayed his role in the rescue.

“I just happened to be there at the right time and right place,” said Steenwyk, who has boated since he was 14.

Kaiser was to receive his award in Edmonton on Monday.

Police said shortly after the three men launched their boat on May 18 at 4:30 p.m., a weather system passed through bringing high winds and rain. The storm, combined with their inexperience and a string of bad luck, conspired to sink the boat.

At about 10:30 p.m., after scouring the north end of the lake, Steenwyk was about to abandon the search when he caught a glimpse of something in the distance on the east side of the lake.

The triangular shape in the water turned out to be the bow of the boat.

Steenwyk and Kaiser were able to pull all three into a boat to get them safely back to shore.

Just Posted

Candlelight vigil in Red Deer honours Sri Lanka Easter bombing victims

Dozens showed up to the event at City Hall Thursday night

Several Red Deer businesses’ phone/fax lines taken over by ‘spoofers’

Same ‘prank’ calls were made as happened with RedCliff RCMP

Red Deer apartment project opposed by some neighbours

Two buildings proposed for a site in Normandeau with existing four apartment complexes

Red Deer’s osprey cam celebrities are back

FortisAlberta has webcam set up at nest created as part of avian protection program

Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run introduces Community Diaper Dash

Central Albertans will make a dash in diapers to bring lunches to… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Local Sports: Clayton Pottinger reaching for new heights

There are times in anyone’s life when they make a decision that… Continue reading

Seniors: Smarter living for older adults

One of the major life transitions characteristic of aging is leaving one’s… Continue reading

Opinion: Schools can’t be exempt from scrutiny

This weekend’s meeting of the Alberta School Councils’ Association promises to be… Continue reading

Bishop now the Stars goalie trying to beat Blues in playoffs

Ben Bishop grew up rooting for the St. Louis Blues before being… Continue reading

Nashville gets its chance to step up for NFL draft

NASHVILLE — Broadway in downtown Nashville is as lively a place as… Continue reading

The Cranberries, still in mourning, return for the last time

NEW YORK — Whether or not there would be a final Cranberries’… Continue reading

Dance studio owner in dispute with Burton Cummings fined for noise ticket

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The owner of a dance fitness studio who… Continue reading

Most Read