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New London — A 12-year-old city girl was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday after her aluminum canoe capsized at the entrance to New London Harbor.
Video courtesy of The Day reader Stephanie Bruneau:
The girl, who had a dog in the canoe with her, was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital by New London firefighters. Her condition was not immediately available.
The dog swam roughly three-quarters of a mile back to shore, said Petty Officer Bradley Boling, of Coast Guard Station New London.
The initial emergency call came in about 6 p.m., from someone at Ocean Beach who saw the girl and dog in the canoe in choppy water.
“The winds were picking up a little bit and it was kind of rough off the beach,” Boling said.
Then as the Coast Guard was preparing to head to where the canoe was, “we got a call that it actually did flip over,” he said.
A Cross Sound ferry found the girl next, threw her a life ring and was with her when the Coast Guard boat rescued her. She was in the water for 15 to 20 minutes, Boling said.
“They did say that she may have bumped her head either when they were trying to get her into the boat or when the canoe flipped over,” Boling said.
Canoeing in the harbor and beach area is common, but the water is cold, he said. The water temperature Sunday was about 47 degrees, compared to the upper 60s it reaches during summer.
In Sunday’s rescue, everything worked, Boling said.
“There were a lot of things that came together at the exact right time,” he said.