Fishermen spend cold night at the river near Agassiz

Search and Rescue teams locate men up Chehalis River Valley

  • Nov. 1, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Three Vancouver fisherman spent a cold night up Chehalis River, after realizing they couldn’t get themselves safely out of the bush.

Search and Rescue volunteers spent many hours scrambling through dense brush and deep water channels on Monday night looking for the three men in the Chehalis River delta, said Kent Harrison SAR member Neil Brewer.

The fishermen had made a bad decision to cross a deep channel when the river was still rising, he said, but on the positive side they did everything else right.

Once the men realized they were in trouble they stayed put and called for help. They were well prepared, carrying lighters, whistles and flares. They used a dry sock to start a fire, and built it up as best they could.

SAR members spent six hours in the bush arriving at a set of coordinates derived from one of the men’s cell phone, but to no avail. The coordinates had an error and were several hundred meters out. As the night progressed, the fishermen assumed searchers had given up for the night and would return in the morning.

In the morning the fishermen decided to stay with the fire and wait. The day before one of them had stumbled a couple of times trying to cross one of the channels and realized it was too dangerous to try finding their own way out.

At first light, a helicopter flew directly to the new coordinates and spotted the fishermen standing by their fire. The helicopter dropped two SAR members off near the fishermen, then went on to guide a Chilliwack SAR jet boat up the Chehalis River channels until they reached a location where the fishermen could be brought out to meet the boat.

The three fishermen were warm, dry and happy to be out.

SAR volunteers from Kent Harrison, Chilliwack, Central Fraser Valley (Abbotsford), Mission and Ridge Meadows SAR participated in the search and rescue.

-Submitted by Neil Brewer, Kent Harrison Search and Rescue

Just Posted

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

UPDATE: Anonymous tip leads DFO night patrol to Fraser River poachers

Charges pending after poachers arrested at night while fishing, 48 sockeye, harbour seal seized

Wildfire update: Fires burning in Fraser Canyon, Highway 7 and Skagit Valley

Several fires in the region are under ‘modified response’ meaning no firefighters are attending

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Chilliwack is home to Sasquatch, the first Canadian-designed hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, the Sasquatch hop is the country’s first patented hops plant

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Police responding to ‘unfolding’ incident in Maple Ridge suburb

Helicopter, dog team, guns drawn and 16 police vehicles at Maple Ridge property

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

1954-built trolleybus hits Vancouver roads for 70th anniversary

TransLink to offer free rides on a retrofitted electric trolley bus to commemorate anniversary

Most Read