Volunteer Goes for Cold Swim to Save Kayaker

The Ocean City Fire Department transported the kayaker for treatment of hypothermia.

A Vineland man has good timing and Brian Riordan to thank for saving his life on Friday.

The man was kayaking in street clothes and hip waders in Corson's Inlet near the bridge into Strathmere when his craft flipped and dumped him into 43-degree water about 4:30 p.m. Friday (Dec. 13). He had a life jacket and was able to cling to the kayak. But he was unable to get back into the craft or get to shore.

Strathmere Volunteer Fire Company Chief Bruce Riordan, who lives nearby, happened to witness the incident.

The chief contacted his son, Brian Riordan, a former Upper Township Beach Patrol member and Fire Company volunteer, who also was near at hand.

The younger Riordan plunged into the icy water and swam out 100 feet to rescue the kayaker, according to Steve Nickelsberg, safety officer for the Fire Company.

He estimated the middle-aged man spent 5 to 10 minutes in the water. The kayaker was conscious "but not completely there" after he and Riordan reached the beach, Nickelsberg said.

He was transported by the Ocean City Fire Department to Shore Memorial Hospital for treatment of hypothermia and is expected to recover.

Riordan was able to shower and warm up after his rescue effort, according to Nickelsberg.
Stilts December 14, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Great going, Brian!
Kathryn Dillon December 15, 2013 at 07:06 AM
God bless our hometown heroes who keep us safe!
Joe Callimachus December 15, 2013 at 07:27 AM
Fantastic save Brian. And to the kayaker: if you're going to go out in these conditions buy a dry suit and a waterbug rescue ladder.
Captain Joel S. Fogel December 15, 2013 at 08:42 AM
Thank God for Heroes who are willing to do the right thing at the right time ! They make us more human......each day.
Christine Lee December 15, 2013 at 08:46 AM
Wonderful news! Great job Bruce and Brian!
Paint December 15, 2013 at 08:57 AM
Great going I like happy endings
Pat Pawling December 15, 2013 at 09:10 AM
I second that comment about the drysuit or at least a good winter 5-mil wetsuit with a built-in hood, along with boots and gloves - my preference for winter kiteboarding. The other issue is the current at Corson's can make things tricky depending on the tide.
C December 15, 2013 at 10:02 AM
That's the definition of a hero! I'm glad to hear everyone was ok.
Captain Joel S. Fogel December 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM
Amen. www.captainfogel.com
CTA December 15, 2013 at 03:31 PM
This boater is a possible Darwin Award winner......street clothes and hip waders are not proper wear for a December paddle . A and unable to get back in the boat? A clear lack of smarts as well as lack of skills........lucky someone put their own life on the line to save yours
Captain Joel S. Fogel December 15, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Classic example of over-estimating your own skills and under-estimating the power and force of nature. "A person without imagination is no match for nature !" Jack London, TO BUILD A FIRE
Captain Joel S. Fogel December 15, 2013 at 09:29 PM
You need to be able to first imagine your death in order to avoid it. The most important skill an explorer has is their ability to create worst case senarios and then avoid them.....
Andy Pat December 16, 2013 at 10:27 AM
As a fair weather kayaker who clearly understands the danger of low water temp, this guy was an idiot. He's lucky the waders did not fill and take him down. And Brian is a first class hero!
Stilts December 17, 2013 at 09:12 PM
If we could get enacted and enforced a law against stupidity, we could more than solve our deficit crisis!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »