Premier Christy Clark and Solicitor General Shirley Bond are offering condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the BC Volunteer Search and Rescue technician who lost her life in the course of her duties.
"I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of this brave woman who lost her life during this Search and Rescue call-out," said Premier Clark. "As a province, we are extremely fortunate to have so many dedicated Search and Rescue volunteers who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the community of Creston."
"It is with deep sorrow that I learned of the tragic loss of this young woman. British Columbians are grateful for the courage and bravery of the men and women who help protect us through Search and Rescue groups across the province," said Solicitor General Bond. "We cannot begin to express our gratitude to the thousands of SAR volunteers in this province who provide an invaluable service, giving selflessly of their time, to keep the public safe. This is a tragic example of the risk SAR personnel face and we will provide any support that is needed."
"The British Columbia Search & Rescue Association has suffered an immense tragedy," said Don Bindon, president of BC Search and Rescue Association. "The 2,500 volunteers in 80 B.C. communities who provide this service to citizens and visitors in our province are profoundly saddened by the loss of one of our own. Words cannot express the sympathy we feel for the family, friends and colleagues of our volunteer. Each day we accept that Search and Rescue work is not without risk but when it happens we realize we can never be prepared. Our SAR family will recover - the work is too important for us not to be there, but today is our worst day."
On Wednesday, June 29, the RCMP contacted BC Volunteer Search and Rescue requesting assistance with a vehicle that left the road and was submerged in the Goat River, south of Creston.
With the use of swift water line equipment and a swift water craft, Search and Rescue personnel set out to search the vehicle to determine if anyone was trapped inside. Shortly thereafter, one of the Search and Rescue members went overboard into the river and did not surface. The BC Coroners Service will be investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.
There are about 2,500 unpaid professional volunteers, located in more than 80 B.C. communities that are available day or night, donating over 100,000 hours of their time on callouts annually. Volunteer search and rescue personnel are 95 per cent successful in finding or rescuing persons within the first 24 hours of being activated.
To learn more visit the BC Search and Rescue Association's website at http://www.bcsara.com/