Members of Campbell River Search and Rescue help a small child whose raft was caught on the supports of a bridge. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

VIDEO: Raft rescue on Campbell River

Search and rescue team pull child from raft

  • Jul. 10, 2018 4:30 p.m.

First responders pulled several people from the Campbell River on Tuesday afternoon after their flotation devices became caught on the supports of a bridge.

No injuries were reported in the operation, which brought out police, fire and ambulance services, along with the Campbell River Search and Rescue (CRSAR), who deployed their swift-water team.

At least two or three different small flotation devices, including a small kayak, were tethered together when they became entangled around the northernmost piling of the “logging bridge” on Hwy. 28, said CRSAR’s Tim Strange.

“They were wrapped around the piling, basically stuck in the current,” said Strange.

Members of the rescue crew tossed ropes to people in the boats closest to shore, and the trapped boaters held onto the ropes as the river current “swung them into the bank,” in a kind of pendulum effect.

One inflatable raft containing a small child remained on the far side of the piling.

Rescuers cut the rope that was holding that raft, which began floating downriver, as a member of the search and rescue crew held on.

Throw-ropes were quickly tossed to the raft as it floated away, and the child was retrieved from the raft.

“One of our members was able to stay with the raft there until they were secure,” said Strange. “He was basically going to float down the river as far as he needed … until they were secure, one way or the other.”

Several young people were huddled in bathing suits on the north side of the river as the Mirror arrived on the scene. They may have gotten to shore on their own, said Strange.

“I can’t tell you how many people were able to make it to shore by themselves, but there were at least five or six people that were assisted to shore by our members,” he said.

Many onlookers watched the scene unfold, including Campbell River resident Reba Ferguson, who said that none of the young people trapped under the bridge were wearing life jackets.

“The amazing officer that’s down there has provided them with life jackets,” she said, as she praised the first responders for their efforts.

“I think they’ve done an incredible, incredible job,” she said. “This could’ve turned out a lot worse.”

Staff Sergeant Troy Beauregard of the Campbell River RCMP said they were able to lower personal flotation devices and other equipment to the rafters.

Following the rescue, CRSAR posted some tips on the group’s website about staying safe while travelling on water, such as wearing life jackets, dressing appropriately and carrying a whistle or other sound signalling device.

The post also urged boaters to “never tie boats up together when travelling on rivers” to avoid getting tangled in trees, bridges or other objects.

 

Search and rescue members carried out a rescue by throwing ropes from the banks of the Campbell River to another member who clung to an inflatable raft containing a small child. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River Search and Rescue member Dino Pagliardi was involved in Tuesday’s successful swift-water operation. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

Just Posted

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

Bungy jump naked in support of mental health programs

Registration open for annual fundraiser for BC Schizophrenia Society

Four weather extremes in just six months a cause for concern

Global warming contributing to the full gamut of conditions

Column: Snow reveals the character of a community

For every internet complainer there were two more willing to help a neighbour

Car fire destroys vehicle in Chemainus

Traffic rerouted for a short time at the Henry Road roundabout

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

Most Read