A water rescue was conducted Sunday, June 26, by Terrace Search and Rescue and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Terrace SAR (TSAR) and DFO were notified by Kitimat RCMP that a boat has capsized in the Kitimat River.
The boat had been capsized when it hit a sweeper log protruding into the river from shore. Both fishermen entered the river.
One fisherman was able to stay with the boat and was able to make it to shore on the highway side of Kitimat River and go for help. The other fisherman was stranded on the west side of the river, wet from his swim and feeling the effects of mild hypothermia. He was able to light a fire to warm himself.
TSAR meet with DFO and the RCMP at the site. Terrace SAR swiftwater technicians were transported by DFO to search the area. The subject was located on shore and transported back to his vehicle.
The fisherman lost all the contents of their boat, equaling hundreds of dollars worth of fishing gear but luckily they did not lose their lives. Both men were wearing their lifejackets however one fisherman stated his lifejacket was ripped off when it became snagged on a tree.
Terrace SAR would like to remind people that lifejackets save lives. Fisherman should also be prepared by carrying some essential emergency equipment and telling someone where they are going and when they will be returning. The Outdoor 10 Essentials1. Flashlight, spare batteries and bulb
2. Firemaking kit – waterproof matches/lighter, firestarter/candle
3. Signalling device – whistle or mirror to signal searchers if you become lost
4. Extra food and water – 1 litre/person
5. Extra clothing (rain, wind, water protection and toque)
6. Navigational/ Communication Aids (maps, compass, GPS, charts, cellular phone, satellite phone, hand held radio – fully charged battery) – know how to use them
7. First Aid kit – know how to use it
8. Emergency shelter – orange tarp or large orange garbage bag. These can also be used as signalling devices
9. Pocket knife.
10. Sun protection (glasses, sunscreen, hat)
Most people who drown did not plan to be in the water. Instead, they were working or playing on, or near the water when something unexpected happened.
When it comes to risk factors, the leading contributor to drownings continues to be not wearing a lifejacket at 94%, followed by being alone at 64%. Being out in cold water situations (26%) and/or after dark (21%) were also cited as factors. http://www.adventuresmart.ca/trip_safety/lifejackets_pfds.htm