Quesnel Search and Rescue responded to a boat in distress call on the Fraser River on Saturday (May 6) night at around 6-30.
Bob Hollowenko, the Search Manager, says they were told that it was unable to navigate the river under its own propulsion due to a mechanical issue.
“The RCMP were able to follow the boat roughly downstream but eventually lost sight of it. Quesnel Search and Rescue was engaged to rescue the vessel and the people on board. The Quesnel Search and Rescue Swift Water Team responded with two contracted boats that went out with a third boat that was piloted by a member in training.”
Hollowenko says the boat in distress was eventually located downstream in some woody debris.
“Usually we would leave the damaged or problematic vessel behind. In this case it would not have been safe to transfer them from their boat into one of the rescue boats, so the decision was made to tow the vessel upstream and they were successfully and safely returned back to the boat launch.”
He says there were a few reasons that they deemed it to be unsafe to transfer the two people in the boat.
“The power of the river, the amount of debris, and the fact that the gentleman were in just regular clothing and life preservers, or personal flotation devices, which would have made it incredibly dangerous if there would have been an incident transferring them from their vessel into ours.”
Hollowenko says they were located in the Roddie Road area.
“No injuries were reported. They were cold but not hypothermic. They did not require the assistance of BCEHS.” (BC Emergency Health Services)
Hollowenko says they were on scene for about an hour.
He says it could have been much worse, especially if they had continued on downstream and ended up in a worse situation, or if they ended up in the water.
–Files by George Henderson, My Cariboo Now