A cliff extrication operation underway at Rainbow Falls Sept. 5.

Man dies near Rainbow Falls

Burnaby man falls from cliff near Rainbow Falls Sept. 5

A man died after falling off a cliff near Rainbow Falls last Saturday.

Jason George, a 26-year old Burnaby resident, was camping with four friends at Cogburn Beach on the east side of Harrison Lake over Labour Day weekend. According to the BC Coroner’s Service, George climbed a cliff to get a better view of Rainbow Falls. He fell to a plateau at the base and died on scene.

“When one of the men tried to climb to the waterfalls he fell from the cliff into the river,” says Sgt. Darren Rennie of the Agassiz RCMP. “Another member from the group attempted to climb down to him and became trapped on the cliff.”

RCMP, supported by Kent Harrison Search and Rescue (KHSAR) and BC Ambulance immediately responded. According to Neil Brewer, one of the team’s SAR managers, when crews arrived at Rainbow Falls, located seven kilometres up Harrison East Forest Service Road, they found one male stranded above a cliff but no sign of the second person.

“We had already activated a helicopter ‘long line’ response through Chilliwack Search and Rescue,” stated Brewer.

When the helicopter arrived on scene they had difficulty locating George, but eventually spotted him in a very dangerous location high up the falls from the road. Due to his position in the water, it was determined he was deceased.

With the light failing and a “very difficult recovery,” Brewer explains, the helicopter crew was forced to suspend the body extrication until Sunday. Meanwhile, crews on scene worked to rescue the first male from the cliff.

“Fortunately he was not injured, but it still took over an hour to get him safely back to the road,” reports Brewer. “He’d gotten himself into a nasty spot” on a cliff roughly 20 feet above ground.

As this rescue was in process, KHSAR got another call for an injured ATV rider at the 25 km mark on Harrison East, north of Cogburn Creek. The man had gone off the road at a bend, ending up approximately 100 feet down a steep embankment with both arms fractured. Once the rescue at Rainbow Falls was concluded, the KHSAR team quickly drove 18 kilometres up the road. They performed a rope rescue to retrieve the ATV rider, who was taken by ambulance to Harrison where a medivac helicopter was waiting.

KHSAR members concluded that rescue at 1:30 a.m., then were back to Rainbow Falls at 7 a.m. Sept. 6 to work with Chilliwack SAR and Valley Helicopters to extract the deceased hiker.

Barb McLintock, media relations for the BC Coroners Service, says George’s family has been notified and has asked for privacy at this time. The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate the death.

Following the weekend incidents, RCMP remind backcountry users to use caution.

“The backcountry, although beautiful, is dangerous. Police remind everyone who enjoys these remote regions of our area to always remain aware of the dangers nature presents,” said Cpl. Mike Rail.

Just Posted

Relationships, continuity top health-care concerns for Agassiz residents

Feedback during Fraser Health events showed access to health care needs to improve

Development on the horizon for Harrison Hot Springs Marina

The property has been the subject of a number development proposals over the years

Chilliwack Players Guild brings first ever radio play to stage

An Affair of Honour is based on a true story, written by the father of a Chilliwack man

‘Big hearts and even bigger feet’: Comedian sends Harrison humour to the silver screen

Jonny Harris will see the town highlighted on his small-town comedy series ‘Still Standing’

More staff being hired at Fraser Valley seniors homes

Number of care hours for residents lags behind provincial targets

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of Brunette overpass

Dash cam footage shows a vehicle speeding across a Lower Mainland overpass

Lower Mainland teacher resigned after ‘inappropriate discussions’ with elementary students

Tracy Joseph Fairley resigned from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows district April 23, 2018

Surrey needs 350 more cops, activist tells council

‘Right now we are 350 police behind what our population requires,’ politicians are told

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Where mattresses go to die

Mattress Recycling opens the largest of its kind mattress-recycling facility in Hope

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Most Read