Hope search crews go on back-to-back call outs in Hope, Sunshine Valley

Two men stranded at Coquihalla River, and late hiker on Mount Outram safe and sound after rescues

Hope and Chilliwack rescuers took part in rescuing two men stranded on the banks of the Coquihalla River below the Othello Tunnels July 26, 2020. (Submitted/Hope SAR photo)

Hope and Chilliwack rescuers took part in rescuing two men stranded on the banks of the Coquihalla River below the Othello Tunnels July 26, 2020. (Submitted/Hope SAR photo)

Hope and Chilliwack search crews, together with the RCMP, dealt with back-to-back call outs Sunday, July 26 involving people stranded in the outdoors and unable to get themselves to safety.

Crews were first called out to the Coquihalla River below the third of the Othello Tunnels to assist in getting two men stranded on either side of the river back to safety. Later Sunday night, crews climbed Mount Outram to retrieve a hiker who had not arrived back home.

Around 7 p.m. Sunday, Cpl. Mike Rail with the RCMP’s Upper Fraser Valley Regional detachment confirmed police received a call about two men who were stranded on opposite sides of the Coquihalla River at the Othello Tunnels. Hope and Chilliwack rescue teams were called in to rescue a 28-year-old Port Coquitlam man and a 29-year-old Vancouver man Rail said.

Three SAR members used a raft to paddle across the river and retrieve the man who was furthest away. Once the first person was safe, they then paddled downriver to retrieve the second person who was perched on a boulder and unable to swim to safety. The rescuers worked under Pelican lights and headlamps as the rescue took place during and after sunset. Both men were rescued just before 10 p.m. and neither were injured Rail said.

At around 9:30 p.m. a separate call came in from the brother of a hiker reporting his sibling overdue from a summit of Mount Outram along Highway 3 near Sunshine Valley and E.C. Manning Provincial Park. Fresh off of the Coquihalla River rescue, a crew from Hope Volunteer Search and Rescue as well as rescuers from Chilliwack deployed to the mountain. They spent five hours climbing to reach the mountaintop in the early hours of Monday Rail said. A Vancouver man in his 50s was located and brought back safe and sound Rail added.

These rescues, while both successful in bringing the subjects to safety, serve as a reminder to those who venture out near waterways and in the backcountry Rail cautioned.

“The water is so high and the rivers are rushing, you really have to be cautious. And if you don’t have the skills and the experience to be on the water, don’t go on the water,” he said. While no longer at peak freshet, local rivers are still running high. Even with warnings from RCMP to use lifejackets and not venture into water deeper than an arms length, people were observed tubing on the Coquihalla River downstream from the Peers Creek Forest Service Road bridge over the B.C. Day long weekend.

Earlier this summer, searchers scoured the Coquihalla River for a 50-year-old man last seen in the water upstream from the tunnels. The July 2 search came up empty.

The Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, within which is the popular tourist destination the Othello Tunnels, is currently closed. The BC Parks website does not yet have an opening date set for the park, and warned on June 26 that the park was closed as ‘unstable rock conditions’ exist within the tunnels.

Earlier this year, the provincial parks agency warned of rock fall at the tunnels as well as landslides on the Kettle Valley Rail trail leading into the park. “Ongoing extreme hazards continue to exist in the area,” a March 2 warning noted.

Read more: Rescuers come up empty after scouring Coquihalla River for 50-year-old man

Rail added that people heading into the backcountry should remember to stay within their skills. “Stay within the limits and respect the outdoors and the backcountry for how powerful it is,” he said. The overdue hiker did the right thing, Rail noted, by making a trip plan and communicating it with someone who was able to alert authorities when he failed to return in time.

Read more: Search crews conduct rope rescue for hiker stranded near Ladner Creek Trestle

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
emelie.peacock@hopestandard.com


Facebook and follow us on Twitter

HikinghopeSearch and Rescue

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

 

Hope and Chilliwack search and rescue teams brought two men to safety after they were stranded on opposite sides of the Coquihalla River below the Othello Tunnels Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Submitted/Hope SAR photo)

Hope and Chilliwack search and rescue teams brought two men to safety after they were stranded on opposite sides of the Coquihalla River below the Othello Tunnels Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Submitted/Hope SAR photo)

Hope’s search and rescue crew summited Mount Outram into the early hours of July 27, 2020, in search of an overdue hiker in his 50s. (Submitted/Hope SAR photo)

Hope’s search and rescue crew summited Mount Outram into the early hours of July 27, 2020, in search of an overdue hiker in his 50s. (Submitted/Hope SAR photo)

Hope’s search and rescue crew summited Mount Outram into the early hours of July 27, 2020, in search of an overdue hiker in his 50s. (Submitted/Hope SAR photo)

Hope’s search and rescue crew summited Mount Outram into the early hours of July 27, 2020, in search of an overdue hiker in his 50s. (Submitted/Hope SAR photo)

Just Posted

About 80 demonstrators walked through Hope with signs in support of saving the Station House on March 23, 2021. (Photo/Christian Ward)
Public hearing now planned for Hope’s Station House decision

Council has now taken steps to remove heritage status from historic building

Williams Lake RCMP arrested a man Saturday, March 13 near Wildwood in vehicle stolen in Quesnel. (RCMP logo)
UPDATE: Chilliwack woman missing since March 17 found safe and sound

RCMP thanks the media and public for assistance

Workers were on scene to clean up the oil spill in Abbotsford at Trans Mountain Pipeline’s Sumas pump station in June 2020. (File photo by Shane MacKichan)
TSB releases final report on June 2020 oil spill in Abbotsford

Transportation Safety Board says pipeline fitting to blame for spill of up to 190K litres

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)
Chilliwack General Hospital gets all-clear from Fraser Health as outbreak ends

The latest outbreak was 20 days from the start, on March 25, to being declared over on April 13

GW Graham (SD33.bc.ca)
Entire class at Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham secondary school in isolation after exposure to COVID-19

Students have been told to remain home after four days of exposure last week

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

Shannon Claypool, president of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association, stands outside the Cloverdale Rec. Centre. The rec. centre has been set up as a mass vaccination site by Fraser Health and the Association has decided to cancel the rodeo in order to offer the fairgrounds for public parking. (Submitted)
Cloverdale Rodeo cancelled

Fairgrounds to be used as public parking for mass vaccination site at Cloverdale Rec. Centre

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there should be no travel, even to the next city over

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

Most Read