World News – CA – High risk rescue pulls hypothermic man out of river in Little Qualicum Falls Park


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A hypothermic man was dragged out of the churned, cold water between the falls in Little Qualicum Falls Park in a high-risk rescue by the Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Team.

Nick Rivers, a search and rescue manager who is also a speedy water rescue technician, was lowered into the turbulent water with a rope, where he lunged to grab the man and held onto one until she was safe Cliff were dragged.

Rivers moved quickly to catch the man who just landed 4 in the river. 5 meters above the lower waterfall.

« To be honest, I’m not exactly sure how to hold onto him for as long as I did. It was definitely not easy. I am very sore today. ”

The team was called at 3:08 pm. m. Saturday, just 12 minutes later at the scene.

« We found the person on a log in the middle of the river … So a very precarious position. ”

Incredible footage of a rescue in Little Qualicum Falls. @ArrowsmithSAR ran to the scene and a member is seen in the rushing water rescuing a man from a slippery log and almost losing him before being pulled up by other members. Photo credit: quinnteechma @CHEK_News @BCSARAssoc pic. Twitter. com / tBWtGMD50l

Then Rivers fastened his ropes and was lowered 26 meters from a cliff into the water.

« We know he’s getting pretty cold, so we really wanted to move. ”

Rivers went into the pool and tried to get upstream on another log. “I was trying to climb this log so I could get in the river and come down and land on its log in front of him. That would have allowed Rivers to put a harness on the man.

« But I couldn’t pull myself up. The current was way too strong. « Instead, » I came in under him . . . I stood on the log and then he lost his grip and was pushed off the log.

« At this point he was on his way to the waterfall, so I jumped after him and just grabbed him, » Rivers said.

« I only held him physically until they could pull us in with the rope system. ”

The two were hit by the rough water. “There have been a few times when I’ve been underwater longer than I would have liked. ”

Rivers held the man until the couple was pulled to the side of the river. At this point the harness moved on and the two were pulled together.

30 people attended, including the Arrowsmith SAR team, the Alberni Valley Rescue Squad, and firefighters from the Coombs and Dashwood Fire Departments.

When asked how long it took, Rivers laughed and said, “It felt like a couple of hours, but it was probably only about 25 minutes. ”

In one video, the man Rivers said was in his thirties slumped on the end of a partially submerged tree trunk.

« He seemed so hypothermic that he had next to no strength, » he said. « I pretty much couldn’t speak anymore. ”

The man was placed on a stretcher and B. . C.. . The ambulance took him. Rivers had no update on his condition on Sunday.

Rivers, 28, has been searching and rescuing for a decade. The Parksville resident is also a ground search team leader, trained in rope rescue, and serves as Arrowsmith’s SAR manager. He owns N. . Rivers Auto and Marine, a repair and manufacturing company.

« In terms of water involvement, this is certainly the most challenging, technical, and possibly one of the riskier tasks, » he said.

Ropes are not normally attached to water rescues. But because the ropes were more vertical than horizontal: « We were able to hold the rope by me so I couldn’t walk over the falls. ”

The team trains a lot and is prepared for the environment, Rivers said. This year the volunteer team trained almost 5. 000 hours. That is less than the usual 6. 500 hours because of COVID-19, he said.

« It’s scary, » he said of the rescue on Saturday. “It’s not exactly a theme park. It’s real life and you are physically holding on to someone and collecting any amount of energy you can to save their life. So it sure is stressful. Yes it is a challenge. ”

Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park, Qualicum Beach

World News – CA – High risk rescue pulls hypothermic man out of river in Little Qualicum Falls Park


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