The RCMSAR vessel Tolonen returns from an emergency call on June 23. Due to the high lake level the CP Rail bridge must be opened each time the boat leaves for a call on Shuswap Lake. (Photo contributed)

Sicamous marine search and rescue responds to woman injured on houseboat, two other emergencies

High water and floating debris create obstacles for marine rescue volunteers

After a safe and slow start to the 2020 boating season, the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue station on Shuswap Lake responded to three emergency calls in recent days including two on June 23.

The rescue boat received a medical call shortly after 5 a.m. on Saturday, June 13 to assist a woman experiencing severe abdominal pain at the Tiilis Landing campsite. After picking up a B.C. Ambulance crew, the RCMSAR crew went to the campsite and helped the woman, who struggled to stand or walk on her own, to the boat. Station Leader Fred Banham said the woman was safely on shore and in the waiting ambulance by around 7:15 a.m.

Read More: COVID-19: Okanagan medical labs to reopen by appointment

Read More: Bird parts dumped in the South Shuswap came from chickens not eagles

On June 23, the RCMSAR station was called for another medical emergency at 12:04 a.m. Banham said a woman on a houseboat had fallen down a steep stairway and hit her head on the way down. The other people on board suspected she may have suffered a spinal injury and so kept her lying on the deck until the RCMSAR and ambulance crew arrived.

After carefully transferring her from the houseboat to the RCMSAR vessel, the emergency crews had the injured woman back to shore by 2:20 a.m.

Later that day about 2:30 p.m., the RCMSAR boat was called again to help three young men who were stuck on the swim dock at the Sicamous Beach Park. Banham said one of the men was not a strong swimmer and, after struggling against the cold water and the strong current coming from the Sicamous channel, he could not make it back to shore. The RCMSAR boat, which is docked only 100 metres away in the channel, was able to pick the men up off the dock and take them to shore. Banham said they were treated for possible hypothermia by warming them up in the sheltered area under the rescue boat’s deck.

Read More: First Nations call for end to B.C. open-net salmon farms

Read More: Safe, clean campsites to be made available for seasonal fruit pickers in Okanagan

Banham said the rescue shows the hazards caused by cold water and fast flowing creeks, rivers and channels. The creeks and rivers have flushed lots of debris into the lake.

Banham said during recent night rescues the RCMSAR boat has been reliant on its forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera for navigating around the debris.

Due to the high lake level, the CP Rail Bridge must be opened each time the rescue boat has to respond to a call on Shuswap Lake. Banham said the railway staff have been very helpful; the bridge tenders have rushed from their homes in the middle of the night or early in the morning to move the rotating bridge out of the way.

Banham said in one case the tender had the bridge open before the RCMSAR and ambulance crews were ready to leave the dock.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BoatingEmergency calls

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Transport truck driver ticketed after rear-ending semi, closing Highway 1 in Shuswap

Truck catches fire, Chase RCMP ticket man for following too closely

Automated phone scam targets Shuswap residents

Scammers may be spoofing a local number and claiming they are with the CRA

Okanagan and Shuswap MPs want federal funds to help stop invasive species

Concerns raised that spending favours Eastern Canada.

Homeowners arrive in North Shuswap to find thieves busy breaking in

Chase RCMP request assistance from public in tracking down suspects

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Most Read