Retired SF firefighter rescued after kayak capsizes on Lake Merced

A recently retired San Francisco firefighter was rescued from Lake Merced after his kayak overturned Tuesday afternoon and left him stranded in the water.

Emergency personnel responded at about 2:30 p.m. to reports of a boat that had flipped over and a person hanging onto the boat, waiting for help, said Jonathan Baxter, a fire department spokesman.

Two rescue swimmers were sent into the waters to retrieve the 50-year-old man, who was uninjured, Baxter said.

The man, who also previously served as a paramedic with the San Francisco Fire Department, was assessed by paramedics at the scene but was not taken to a hospital.

It’s unclear how the man ended up in the waters. No heavy winds were reported at Lake Merced, and visibility was reportedly clear.

“It’s unknown why the kayak capsized, but he was unable to get back on the boat and was fatigued, which is why he was required to be rescued,” said Baxter.

The man was wearing a life jacket, Baxter said, adding that anyone who plans to go out in boat should research boating and water safety tips.

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