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Lake Superior Kayaker Saved by Smartwatch’s SOS Feature



Clear Facts:

  • A 36-year-old kayaker was saved from potential hypothermia in Lake Superior, thanks to the GPS and SOS feature on his smartwatch.
  • The Ontario Provincial Police successfully tracked the kayaker down three hours after his fall into the frigid lake waters.
  • The police are now emphasizing the importance of adhering to safety recommendations when sailing on the lake, to avoid potential life-threatening situations.

A 36-year-old kayaker had a close call with disaster on Lake Superior, saved by the GPS and SOS feature on his smartwatch.

The kayaker was on Black Bay, near Hurkett, Ontario, when he found himself in the frigid lake waters.

Thanks to his smart device, the Nipigon Ontario Provincial Police managed to track him down three hours after he fell in.

The Ontario Provincial Police shared in a statement, “Officers were able to locate this individual on Lake Superior despite large waves, due to the GPS they had which gave officers a live position of where they were, and led them straight to him.”

The GPS in question was integrated into a smartwatch that the kayaker used to alert emergency services to his predicament and exact location.

The police further emphasized the potential severity of the situation, stating, “If not for this person wearing the PFD [personal flotation device] and them carrying this SOS device, the outcome could have been fatal.”

Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area, is also the coldest and deepest of the Great Lakes.

During the warmest summer months, temperatures in most areas of the lake barely exceed 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prolonged exposure to these waters can lead to a rapid and dangerous decrease in body temperature, often resulting in hypothermia.


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has warned, “Should you fall in, […] your survival time without a life jacket would, on the average, be less than two hours.”

The kayaker was given medical attention after his ordeal and has since been released from the hospital.

Ontario Provincial Police Const. Matthew Foster and the Nipigon OPP hope this incident underscores the importance of adhering to safety recommendations when on the lake.

In a statement on their Facebook page, the Nipigon OPP reminded water enthusiasts to “prepare for the worst when going out on the water this summer, it could save your life.”


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