By Jody MacPherson
Fort McMurray Express, May 21, 1986
A local youngster may have saved the lives of three canoists (sic) this weekend.
Sean O’Brien, 15, was fishing when he spotted an overturned canoe floating along the Clearwater River at the mouth of the Hangingstone. He also saw a life jacket and an oar floating nearby.
Suspecting something was wrong, he went for help. At first no one believe (sic) him, so he called the RCMP himself and went to investigate with the officer.
O’Brien and the RCMP officer drove along the river and came across a blue Mustang, which later turned out to belong to the canoists.
“Then we spotted some people on the other side of the river, around the corner about 500 yards from where I saw the canoe,” he says.
As it turned out, a jet boat had gotten too close to the canoe, and the waves had tipped it over.
The two men and one woman in the canoe had swum to the opposite side of the river and were stranded wet and cold.
“They were pretty shaken up,” he says, “and I think they lost the keys to their car when they overturned.”
O’Brien waited there with the RCMP until they could bring their boat out from Gregoire Lake. It took about an hour and a half, he says.
“One of the guys had take in a lot of water,” he says.
O’Brien, however, was nonchalant about the whole thing.
“It was no big deal, really,” he says.
RCMP says O’Briens (sic) sharp eye may have saved the canoists.