« To be honest, I’m not exactly sure how to hold onto him for so long. It was definitely not easy. I am very sore today. ”
A hypothermic man was dragged out of the churned, cold water between the falls in Little Qualicum Falls Park on Vancouver Island by a local search and rescue team during a high-risk rescue.
Nick Rivers, a rapid-water rescue technician and manager at Arrowsmith Search and Rescue, was lowered into the turbulent water with a rope, where he grabbed the man and held him until they were safely hauled up a cliff.
Rivers moved quickly to catch the man who had just landed 4 in the river. 5 meters above the lower waterfall.
« The forces on us were absolutely incredible, » said Rivers on Sunday. « To be honest, I don’t really know how to hold onto him for as long as I did. It was definitely not easy. I am very sore today. ”
“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 going to get pretty cold, so we really wanted to move. ”
The plan was to put a harness on the man, but Rivers said he couldn’t get on a nearby log that would have put him in the correct position.
« I got up to the tree trunk and then it lost my grip and was pushed off the tree trunk, » said Rivers.
« At this point he was on his way to the waterfall, so I jumped after him and just grabbed him. “I only held him physically until they could pull us in with the rope system. ”
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.
Rivers laughed when he said the rescue took a couple of hours, but he guessed it probably only took 25 minutes.
In a video posted on social media, the man Rivers said was in his mid-30s slumped at the end of a partially submerged protocol.
« He seemed so hypothermic that he had next to no strength, » he said. « I pretty much couldn’t speak anymore. ”
Rivers, 28, has been searching and rescuing for a decade. He is also a ground search team leader, trained in rope rescue, and serves as Arrowsmith’s SAR manager.
« 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 tons of energy that you
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Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park, Vancouver Island, Qualicum Beach, Arrowsmth Search and Rescue
World News – CA – Hypothermic man pulled from turbulent Vancouver Island waters by rescue experts
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