Police urge caution around waterways after weekend rescue

Police, firefighters and Search and Rescue volunteers rescued a Nanaimo man from Haslam Creek Sunday afternoon.

Police are warning the public to be extra cautious around rivers and creeks after rescuing a 30-year-old Nanaimo man from Haslam Creek Sunday.

On Sunday, Jan. 12 at approximately 3:25 p.m.,  a male called 9-1-1 to advise he had been swept into Haslam Creek just north of Ladysmith after going four by fouring in the area.

“His Jeep took on water, and he was swept out of the vehicle into the creek,” Sgt. Sheryl Armstrong said in a news release. “He was able to reach his cellphone and call 9-1-1.”

Ladysmith RCMP, Nanaimo RCMP, Search and Rescue, the Cedar Fire Department and the Cranberry Fire Department all assisted in the search for the male.

“We had to go down the riverbanks to search for him,” said Armstrong.

The man was located in the creek after being swept downstream for about one kilometre and brought to shore, according to Armstrong.

He was taken to the Ladysmith Community Health Centre, where he was treated for hypothermia and other non-life threatening injuries. He was released later in the day.

Armstrong says it is very important for people to remember that waterways are far more dangerous with all the rain we have been getting in the area.

“With the recent rains, people are reminded the rivers and creek levels rise and there could be significant undercurrents,” she said.

“This situation could have turned out much worse and serves as a reminder to those who are around the water to use caution.”

Armstrong urges drivers not to cross waterways.

“Even if you’ve been across it before, you don’t know what conditions have changed,” she said, noting it could be much deeper, and you wouldn’t be able to notice that. “It’s really important you don’t go four by fouring across streams and creeks if possible.”

Armstrong does not know if the driver was going across the creek in this case.