Neighbors rescue man from flipped kayak on East Providence reservoir
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- The East Providence Police and Fire Departments credited two men for helping save another man’s life after his kayak overturned on the James V. Turner Reservoir Wednesday.
Responding to a call of a man in distress Wednesday afternoon, rescue personnel found two neighbors had acted quickly and removed the man from the water already.
Seekonk, Massachusetts resident Edward Turnbull said he had just returned home when he noticed an overturned kayak on the nearby reservoir.
Upon closer look, he noticed a man a struggling in the water.
Turnbull sprang into action, launching his family’s canoe into the water and reaching the man just in time.
“He was probably in the water 15 or 20 minutes already,” Turnbull said. “He was struggling, I could tell he was reaching the point of exhaustion and having trouble staying above water.”
Turnbull was assisted in the rescue by his East Providence neighbor, Kyle Long Sr., who saw the struggling man from his home on the other side of reservoir.
Long rowed out to join the rescue effort in his own canoe. He was able to provide balance as the man clung to Turnbull’s canoe, and together they were able to bring the man in to shore.
“I’ve lived on that water for 50 years and I know how quickly it can change,” Long said. “The current can pick up with the wind. I’ve seen whitecaps out there.”
The East Providence Fire Department arrived soon after, and treated the victim on the scene.
Long said he hopes the incident will serve as a reminder that residents should wear life jackets when enjoying the area’s ponds, lakes, and reservoirs.
Long separated his shoulder during the rescue, and was treated at Miriam Hospital. Although he’s wearing a sling, he said his recovery is going well.
“I just want to thank the first responders of East Providence,” Long said. “They do an amazing job.”
©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2020