Two boaters found themselves navigating for their lives, Saturday evening.
Quesnel Search & Rescue (QSAR) was dispatched to bring the pair to safety before worst fears were realized.
The call came in to QSAR shortly before 7 p.m. May 7.
“Our team was notified that the RCMP had requested assistance with a river boat which was drifting downstream in the Fraser River, unable to navigate under its own power,” said QSAR director and search manager Bob Holowenko. “The vessel had lost propulsion due to a mechanical issue and the two souls on board were in need of assistance.”
Quesnel SAR dispatched two river boat operators. Those two operators responded with two Swiftwater Rescue Technicians aboard.
“(They) were met by a third boat from town, piloted by one of our members in training,” said Holowenko. “Roughly one hour after receiving the initial call, the three-boat team found the adrift vessel hung up in woody debris. For safety reasons, the parties were not transferred from boat to boat. It was instead safer to tow the disabled boat back to the boat launch.”
It is important to note that the river is cresting right now, and the tributaries to the Fraser are all under states of High Streamflow Advisory, Flood Watch, or Flood Warning from the BC River Forecast Center.
“While the Fraser is wide when it flows through Quesnel, it is very high and the teams on the water observed occasional hazards from materials being washed downstream. We ask that the public use extra caution when near or on fast-moving water,” Holowenko said. “We would like to thank those who made the call for rescue, the residents who gave us access to the riverfront via their property, and the contractors and volunteers who attended.”
In total, QSAR had two contract operators and six members attend this task and all helped bring a dangerous situation to a safe conclusion.