NEWS RELEASE · 22nd July 2012
On the evening of Saturday, July 21st, 2012 Kitimat Search & Rescue (KSAR) responded to a request for assistance from BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) regarding a boat that hit a log jam, dumping it's occupants into the Kitimat River, just above the Wedeene junction.
A second party attempted to rescue the first party, and subsequently capsized their boat. A second attempt was made to retrieve the stranded boaters and was successful.
One KSAR Team Leader, with the assistance of personnel from the Kitimat Fish Hatchery picked up the two boaters from the drift boater that picked them up.
It is not believed that life jackets were worn on the initial capsize.
KSAR transported the boaters to the Radley Park boat launch where they were turned over to the BCAS. No injuries were reported.
KSAR would like to remind all people venturing out onto the water to wear their lifejackets. It appears to be the norm recently on the Kitimat River, that this basic piece of protective equipment isn't being utilized.
In addition, there appears to be at least two locations between the Old Sawmill and Wedeene River junction that are particularly dangerous. For this reason, it is not recommended that inexperienced boaters attempt drifting this stretch of the river.
KSAR would like to also thank the personal from the Kitimat Fish Hatchery, the RCMP, and members of the Kitimat Fire Department, for the successful outcome to this incident.
Comment by Carol Overbeck on 26th July 2012
One should let common sense prevail in wearing a PFD when boating. Families can prevent a lot of unnecessary heartache by not allowing people on a boat if they do not want to wear a PFD. I find that by having PFD's on hand and in reach gives the boater and its occupants a false sense of security. I once read that reaching for that PFD in a capsize or man overboard situation, can be likened to "one trying to buckle a car seat belt before a crash". One just never knows what circumstances may arise when you choose to not wear a PFD. Wind, waves, water temperature and currents are factors that should be taken into account. You cannot reach for one when you are unconscious. Why invite death by not wearing a PFD. It should be mandatory for those who boat, to wear PFD's. I just struggle to understand the logic that goes through one's mind, that they do not need to wear one when on the water. By making a choice to not wear it when boating, you make the choice to become bloodguilty, should a death(s) occur by drowning.