Rob Dorzek, Sudbury boat crash survivor, vows to fight for inquest

Rob Dorzek not satisfied that Sudbury emergency services will address problems with slow response on their own.
Lone crash survivor Rob Dorzek believes an inquest is needed into the crash that killed his friends on Lake Wanapitei last year, while city officials say the remoteness of the crash site was the real problem in the emergency response. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

The lone survivor of a fatal boat crash on Lake Wanapitei says he will appeal the Coroner's decision not to hold a public inquest into the rescue.

Rob Dorzek believes that is the only way to find out what happened the night last summer when three of his friends were killed.

He says he doesn't have faith in Sudbury's emergency officials to fix the problems he believes led to a slow response.

And Dorzek doesn't really have much confidence in an inquest either.

Rob Dorzek is the lone survivor of a 2013 boating accident on Lake Wanapitei. He said he spent nearly an hour on the line with a 911 dispatcher, who had difficulty figuring out his location, even though he sent a map showing where he was. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

"The only way I would trust suggestions to take place is with an inquest and even with an inquest, I have very little faith that those in position to run it, will run it properly," he said.

"I'm on a mission to make sure that this doesn't happen to anyone else ever again. It can't happen again. These people were far too good, to just have their loss in vain."

Dorzek, as well as the city's firefighter union, believe communication problems between police, fire and ambulance led to a slow response and lives could have been saved.

But the chief of Greater Sudbury emergency services, Tim Beadman, painted a different picture at a press conference Monday.

He described it as a "unique" situation, taking place in a "remote area" under "adverse conditions."

"These kinds of calls are not easy to handle," Beadman told reporters."They're complex, they're challenging and not something we do every day.

Still, Beadman says police, fire and ambulance staff have changed the way they train for and communicate during these types of calls.

He also says there is a "boater safety" message for the public out of this accident.

Media reports have said investigators concluded that the driver of the boat had enough alcohol in his system to cause significant impairment.

Timeline: June 30, 2013

  • Sometime shortly after midnight the boat driven by Matthew Humeniuk and carrying Stephanie Bertrand, Michael Kritz and Rob Dorzek strikes island on Lake Wanapitei. Here's how Dorzek describes what happened. On Mobile? Click here
  • 12:30 provincial report shows 911 operator, described only as ACO 17759, receives first call from the crash site. Dorzek is calling on his cellphone On Mobile? Click here
  • 12:34 provincial report shows Sudbury EMS supervisor is notified of crash on Lake Wanapitei.
  • 12:35 Dorzek sends map showing his location to 911 operator.
    The map that Rob Dorzek sent to the 911 dispatcher showing his location on Lake Wanapitei. (provided)
    On Mobile? Click here
  • 12:39 EMS supervisor heading to Skead, along with first responders
  • 12:44 EMS supervisor says arrangements being made for a boat
  • 12:48 incident location still unverified
  • 12:53 officers on scene, still trying to locate crash site.
  • 12:56 911 dispatcher asks Dorzek to light a signal fire. Here's some of that conversation from a 911 call, Dorzek obtained through access to information laws. On Mobile? Click here
  • 12:59 fire boat at launch. EMS supervisor tells firefighters to wait for paramedics before heading out on lake
  • 1:00 Dorzek tells 911 operator that he has set seat cushions on fire. She tells him to make sure he and others stay safely away from flames. Here's how Dorzek describes his attempts to keep fire under control On Mobile? Click here
  • 1:02 firefighters in boat ask when paramedics will arrive and are told approximately 15 minutes
  • 1:07 EMS supervisor asks 911 operator where he's meeting firefighters. She doesn't know.​
  • 1:09 all units told of boat location
  • 1:14 EMS supervisor asks for boat location again
  • 1:17 Firefighters say they are now heading out in the boat
  • 1:20 provincial report reads "fire back says medics in boat"
  • 1:30 EMS supervisor reports that the boat is now heading out
  • 1:38 firefighters report that they have found the crash site. Here's Dorzek describing what it was like when they arrived. On Mobile? Click here
  • To hear the full, unedited version of Rob Dorzek's interview with CBC's Markus Schwabe, click here: 

    Rob Dorzek is the sole survivour of a boating crash that took the lives of three other people.


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