Ka-YUCK: Firefighters Save Two Capsized Teens from Gowanus Canal

The Brooklyn Paper - June 14, 2020

by Kevin Duggan & Ben Verde

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Firefighters rescued two teenage kayakers who capsized into the notoriously-toxic Gowanus Canal on Saturday afternoon, according to authorities.

The duo’s shared boat started filling with water near the Third Street Bridge after 4 pm, and kept filling until suddenly it flipped, according to one of the sunken boaters.

“I can’t believe we fell in there,” said Baron Pena, while staring from land at the water where he’d floated in for seven minutes. “There was water in the actual canoe boat. We didn’t realize that. So, with the water, it made it go down, and then it flipped over.”

New York’s Bravest sent out its marine unit to the rescue, with wetsuit-wearing smoke eaters to help fish the submerged sailors out of the putrid waterway.

Video on the Citizen app shows a paramedic pulling the female passenger out of the water near the base of the bridge.

Both Pena and the girl — whose name could not be obtained — were unharmed from their dip in Brooklyn’s Nautical Purgatory and refused a trip to the hospital, according to the Fire Department spokesman.

The pair had been out on the water with the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club, which quickly sent out their on-duty dock steward to help the overboard teens, and to retrieve the vessel left marooning in the water, according to Brad Vogel, the club’s captain.

The canal is a federal Superfund site, and will undergo a clean-up supervised by the Environmental Protection Agency to help cleanse the polluted waterway.

Inspectors have in the past found the sediment to contain high amounts of toxic chemicals and heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, and copper, along with traces of dog poop and even gonorrhea!