The Essex NY Fire Department was activated for an overdue windsurfer on Lake Champlain late afternoon on Friday, March 20th. The windsurfer departed Essex from Sandy Point, a location approximately a 1/10 mile north of the ferry dock at approximately 8:00 AM. The EFD was dispatched around 4:00 PM.
“We quickly mobilized area Fire Departments for a primary rapid search of the mid-Lake Champlain NY shorelines, north and south of where the windsurfer departed from,” said Essex Fire Chief Craig Jackson. “Keeseville FD and the Burlington VT Coast Guard were requested immediately for an offshore search with their boats,” said Jackson.
Throughout the evening, the search radius increased to Clinton County, and neighboring Vermont. Jackson reported, “We requested helicopters from various State and Federal agencies, but due to serious wind conditions, the only unit able to respond was a Coast Guard fixed wing plane from Cape Cod, Massachusetts.”
The windsurfer was ultimately able to self-rescue, and ended up on the shoreline south of Burlington, VT around 8:00 PM.
“We would like to thank the 125 plus first responders representing 23 agencies involved on a multi-state and federal level. We are very grateful for the positive outcome” reported Jackson.
Essex Fire Department
Whallonsburg Fire Department
Willsboro / Reber Fire Department
Willsboro – Essex EMS
Keeseville Fire Department
Peru Fire Department
Westport / Wadhams Fire Department
Port Henry Fire Department
Essex County Office of Emergency Services
Coast Guard Burlington VT
Coast Guard Cape Cod MA
New York State Police
Essex County Sheriff Department
Clinton County Sheriff Department
National Weather Service – Burlington
Addison County VT Sheriff Department
Chittenden County VT Sheriff Department
Vermont State Police
Shelburne VT Police
Vergennes VT Fire Department and EMS
Ferrisburgh VT Fire Department
Charlotte VT Fire Department
Shelburne VT Fire Department and EMS