Two people are facing charges after becoming stranded on a lake in central Alberta over the weekend, prompting a search and rescue mission.
RCMP were called to Abraham Lake at around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday for reports of boaters in distress.
When they arrived, emergency crews found an intense storm causing huge waves in the lake and daylight diminishing as the sun set.
Despite the adverse conditions, two firemen and an Alberta Fish and Wildlife officer used a rescue boat to find the two boaters.
The pair, a 33-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman, were huddled together on a small rubber dinghy near the shoreline, underneath a tree. In a news release, RCMP said they were in a “near hypothermic state.”
Investigators said the outdoor enthusiasts had taken their dinghy out on the lake near Cline River earlier in the evening.
“Once out on the water, the wind blew them away from shore to the middle of the lake where the white-capped waves blew them further and further from shore,” RCMP said. “Fortunately, the waves did not capsize the small boat. “
Investigators said neither of the boaters had life jackets, as required by law, and both were wearing shorts, T-shirts and sandals.
RCMP charged both with failing to wear life jackets, and say additional charges are pending.
Investigators said the search and rescue marked the fifth in the Abraham Lake area in the last few weeks.
The lake is located about 40 kilometres west of Nordegg, Alta.