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 the Campbell River

Search and rescue team pulls child from raft

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

28 townhouses on the way to 525 Dogwood

Council approves latest phase of development, but not before expressing traffic concerns

Diver discovers possible historic anchor off Campbell River

The rusted, barnacle-encrusted anchor was wedged into the bottom off Quadra Island… Continue reading

Cold weather puts pressure on homeless shelters in Campbell River

Salvation Army and Sobering Centre offer a total of 40 beds

SRD chair, CAO to respond to 32 letters from Cortes Island

Board votes for responses in light of delegations being turned down

Back to school for Vancouver Island’s snow-covered kids, more snow coming

All school districts in business this morning but officials warn another 5-10 centimetres today

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read