©Guardian file photo
Rescuers came to the aid of three young swimmers on an inflatable device off Tracadie beach on Wednesday.
Bob Morrison, chief of the North Shore Fire Department, said the call came in about mid-afternoon that three people were in distress off Tracadie beach.
"They were on an inflatable device, a large tube that all three could fit on,'' Morrison said. "With such high wind it was blowing them out to sea.''
Realizing what was happening, the three swimmers, all young women, jumped off and tried to swim towards shore, holding onto the inflatable device for support.
But that wasn't working.
"They realized they could not swim against the current and against the wind back to the beach. They weren't making any headway.''
Morrison said it was at this point someone called 911, which dispatched the North Shore Fire Department and RCMP joint search and rescue helicopter out of Halifax. The helicopter was actually just minutes away from the scene at the time.
"We actually called a couple of fishermen and they took us out in their lobster boats.''
The helicopter arrived around the same time as 15 firefighters did from North Shore.
"They let us go over and pick them up in the boat and then we brought them back to shore. There were no injuries to the three people and no firefighters were injured.''
Morrison said the young women were picked up by their mother.
"I think she was very thankful things ended the way they did.''
Morrison is asking people to use extreme caution when using inflatable devices in P.E.I. waters especially, as was the case in this instance, those beaches are not supervised.
He was also very appreciative of the fishermen who helped out.
"I'd like to thank the fishermen for their time and their vessels. Without them, the rescue would not have been possible.''