Two teenagers had to be rescued by the Mission Search and Rescue Society (SAR) yesterday evening, after they became stranded by rising water levels at Cascade Falls. It was the second time the society was called to rescue a set of teenagers from the popular Mission site in three days.
The society received the call from the RCMP around 8 p.m., Aug. 21., said Dean Osen, manager of SAR. He said two teenagers had been stuck on the far side of the river since 7 p.m., and with no cell phone reception, couldn’t call for help.
“They had walked across the river and kept their feet dry. but since we had that huge rainfall, the river had come up probably at least a foot, if not more,” Osen said. “It went from normal wading water to swiftwater, fast-moving current.”
A man walking his dog, who was the last person in the park, spotted the two teens and contacted the RCMP, who then called SAR to come in, Osen said.
He said SAR crews were able to tie a rope off to the other side of the river and retrieve the teens in a dinghy. The rescued kids were returned to their parents by 9:45 p.m.
“They actually did the best thing and stayed put and didn’t try to cross.”
Two days prior on Aug. 19, the society received another call around 3 p.m., saying there were two teenagers stuck at the top of Cascade Falls. Beside the falls are trails leading up to the upper pools, which the kids had scaled up.
“They were actually at the top of the falls, and they had gotten themselves to a point where they couldn’t get themselves down,” Osen said. “These young kids can climb over rocks and everything, or they climb around the fence and then go beyond where they’re supposed to be going.
“From time to time we’ll get calls because they’ll get swept over and then end up hitting their heads, or drowning in the lower pool. So that’s why it’s an urgent call to try and get the boys off the falls.”
By the time help had arrived, another group of teenagers had been able to guide the two down, Osen said, and the group left the area before SAR could confirm they were safe. He added the rescue workers ended up staying and monitoring the area until they were satisfied enough to report to the RCMP that no missing persons file had to be made.
Since the suspension bridge went in, there’s been a lot more activity at the site, which has kept out a lot of the older teenagers who drink and party there, according to Osen.
“The number of body recoveries has dwindled, and now it’s more injuries because people are able to phone it in quicker.”
Regardless, he says you should always plan your trip when going, tell someone, and try to be aware of your surroundings.