Monday, July 4, 2011



Plucked From Peril

Police busy over long weekend

Released by Chilliwack UFRD RCMP Cst. Tracy Wolbeck/File photo


t was very evident that summer had arrived with a busy weekend for RCMP officers in the Upper Fraser Valley. Several alcohol related offences crammed Chilliwack's detachment cell block as well as many motor vehicle accidents both in town and on the highways.


Although it is not uncommon for long weekends to bring with it tragedy, another rescue on the Fraser River saved the lives of two fishermen who's canoe capsized in the icy water near Gill Road in Chilliwack. On the afternoon of July 3, 2011, two fishermen, both from the Fraser Valley area were fishing on the Fraser River when their canoe capsized. Neither of the men were wearing flotation devices.


RCMP attended to the Jesperson boat launch where they observed a boat with two fishermen. As it would have taken up valuable time for the RCMP to launch their own boat, they solicited the assistance of the nearby fishermen.

After 20 minutes of searching, the fishermen spotted the two men hanging on to their capsized canoe heading directly for a log jam. The two volunteers were able to pull the victims from the water as they watched their canoe disappear under the log jam. It was estimated that the two men traveled over 10 kilometers hanging onto their overturned canoe.

"This was very much a coordinated effort between the First Nations Policing unit, our General Duty members and of course the two heroes involved," said Cst. Tracy Wolbeck. "It really reinforces the human condition when you see people going so far out of their way to help others." "These two men would likely not be alive today had it not been for the unselfish act of these two volunteers." "The RCMP are very grateful for their assistance."

Both men were transported to Chilliwack General Hospital where they were treated for hypothermia. Both were released and expected to recover. The RCMP want to remind the public about the importance of wearing an approved flotation device whenever you are on the water. It is impossible to predict when disaster may strike and it is essential to plan for the unexpected.


Released by Cst. Tracy Wolbeck, Chilliwack RCMP UFVRD


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