Tubing incident ends well

Nechako Valley Search and Rescue was called out for a swiftwater rescue on the Cheslatta River on Monday after it was reported that two people out tubing were in distress.

Nechako Valley Search and Rescue was called out for a swiftwater rescue on the Cheslatta River on Monday after it was reported that two people out tubing were in distress.

Search and rescue stepped down soon after, when it was discovered that the two individuals had been rescued by a passer by.

“From what we can best understand there is a second Cheslatta Falls which is close to the Skins Lake Spillway and there was a party of 12 people inner tubing,” said Chris Mushumanski, President of Nechako Valley Search and Rescue

“They put in below the falls and apparently just after that one or two people fell off one of the inner tubes and disappeared around the corner with the current,” he said.

The group got out of the river straight away and called for help.

Initially there was a slight confusion between RCMP and search and rescue as to which Cheslatta Falls the incident occurred at.

The distress call was made in the early evening and although the person who called the RCMP phoned the Burns Lake detachment, the call went straight through to the Prince George RCMP dispatch number.

“The Cheslatta Falls that are most familiar to the people in Vanderhoof are near Kenny Dam.

“The second set is west of there by about 150 kilometres – basically straight south of the village of Burns Lake on the otherside of Francois Lake,” said Mushumanski.

While search and rescue mobilized a swift water rescue team, the two individuals were rescued by a passer by and the group of 12 continued on down the river.

“By about 10 p.m. the RCMP were able to get to the bottom of the investigation and informed us that there were no longer people in distress so we stood down,” said Mushumanski.

Nechako Valley Search and Rescue would like to remind people if they are out tubing and enjoying the hot weather, to let someone know where they are going to be and what time they are expected in so that someone can report you overdue if you are out past an expected period of time.

“In this situation I want to commend the people for trying to get help right away, we would rather go out on a call when someone is not necessarily in need of rescue or assistance any further than wait for that extra period of time and then find out  that they actually need help,” said Mushumanski.

“Every hour greatly increases the amount of risk that a lost individual is in.

 

“This was just one of those mistakes that happens sometimes but that’s life and we are happy to be a service to the community,” he said.

 

 

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