Emergency services in Ontario were called to attend to a dramatic, unusual incident on Saturday. Clarington first responders found themselves at the scene of an ATV cliff accident on the shore of Lake Ontario. A woman had unintentionally driven the vehicle over the steep edge, plummeting more than 125 feet into the water.
According to DurhamRegion, the 39 year old woman from Toronto, has sustained "multiple serious injuries". However, they are not expected to be life-threatening, which really is some kind of miracle after such an alarming drop.
Dave Selby of Durham Police said, as Global News reports, "I think this was just a rookie mistake. A person using an ATV that's not really used to it … getting too close to the edge of a clip and then something bad happened."
At just after 6 PM on Saturday, July 20, according to DurhamRegion, Clarington Emergency and Fire Services arrived at Lakeshore Road in Newcastle to find an ATV in the lake some 38 metres below.
Four fire trucks holding a total of 14 firefighters responded to the incident, and two firefighters then rappelled down the cliff with a rescue stretcher. Unsurprisingly, the woman was rushed to hospital.
Police do not believe alcohol or drugs were factors in the incident. According to Global News, the Durham Regional Police Service's marine unit has recovered the vehicle and is performing a mechanical inspection in the hope of finding out more.
DurhamRegion reports that the vehicle had flipped upside down and came to rest underwater about 25 metres from the shore.
In a press release from the municipality of Clarington, Fire Chief Gord Weir explained: "Our crews train monthly in various rope rescue scenarios. This was a textbook scenario executed exactly how we train. Our crews did a remarkable job in the heat and humidity to help the victim as quickly and as safely as possible."
That sounds pretty dramatic, and likely the kind of rescue that Ontario's fire services would hope to avoid in future.
As Clarington warns its residents in the press release, "Safety is crucial when enjoying outdoor summer activities. Whether you're riding an ATV, a boat, or a motorcycle, you need to have the proper safety equipment and know your surroundings. Do not get too close to the cliff edge and watch for land erosion."