Rescuers take on swift water

“Three different SAR groups spent the weekend together training for their certification on swift water rescue operation.”

The Cowichan River is chilly this time of year.

That didn’t stop a group of 12 search and rescue volunteers from the Central Island area from jumping in this weekend and learning to rescue themselves and others.

“Three different SAR groups spent the weekend together training for their certification on swift water rescue operation,” explained swift water rescue team leader Shauneen Nichols on Monday.

The group was made up of members from Cowichan, Ladysmith and Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue teams.

“We always like to make sure our communities are well looked after,” Nichols said. “With the fact that we’ve got El Niño supposedly moving in, as all the weather forecasters are predicting, we want to be as well prepared as possible.”

The swift water rescue operations course teaches rescuers how to remain on land to search for and pluck victims from fast moving waters without compromising their own safety.

The course included classroom work and practical exercises on, near to, and in the water.

“Once the river starts getting higher and riskier, these are the members that would be deployed to search beside the river,” Nichols said. “They would not be deployed into the water but they would be available to do searching and simple rescues beside the river,” Nichols added, noting the biggest thing now is, with the way the rivers are running, should the rescuers fall in, they now know how to rescue themselves as well.

Cowichan SAR hosted the course, delivered by Craig Gerrard of Raven Rescue.

“The Cowichan River is actually a really good river to use. In that one stretch from Skutz Falls down, there are a lot of different hydrologies,” she said.

And Cowichan SAR gets called to that river a lot for rescues.

“The more these people are heading out into the bush and the river, the more we’ve got to step up,” Nichols said.

Just Posted

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: A shift in perspective can sometimes change everything

Have you even been forced to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

CVRD Area E director Alison Nicholson, right, hiked two hours to Waterfall Camp at the Fairy Creek watershed along with Comox town councillor Nicole Minion and Comox Valley Regional District director Daniel Arbour to meet with old-growth logging activists on Monday, June 7. (Submitted)
Cowichan Valley regional director visits Fairy Creek protest camps

‘They clearly communicated that they are committed to what they are doing’

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Most Read