Nymph Falls is a popular swimming hole in the Comox Valley. File photo

Bystanders use rope to haul man out of swift-flowing Vancouver Island river

Comox Valley Search and Rescue volunteer cautions against river swimming

A group of bystanders used a rope to rescue a young man caught in high water last week near Courtenay.

But while their efforts prevented a possible tragedy, Comox Valley Search and Rescue cautions the public that might not always to the case when it comes to river rescues.

“One of the absolutes of swift water rescue is to never tie anyone into a rope,” CVSAR volunteer Mike Bryan said in the wake of the Aug. 18 incident at Nymph Falls. “Somebody can get pulled under by the current, and it can bend them at the waist, especially in a strong current…(But) They did their best and they got him out.”

READ ALSO: Rope rescue required after man falls into Nanaimo River

READ ALSO: Injured dog and hiker rescued from Strathcona Park

Bryan recommends calling 9-1-1 and staying out of the water in the event of a river emergency. He also recommends not drinking alcohol while tubing.

“Rivers change, flow levels change constantly.”

At the time of the incident, signage warned that flows were above normal at Nymph Falls.

“And trees fall. It’s a wild river, it’s not an amusement park, and people forget that,” Bryan said.

He also notes that slippery rocks add to the risk factor.

“There’s lots of places to swim. We have lakes. I don’t recommend swimming in wild rivers.”

When CVSAR teams engage in a river rescue, volunteers wear felt waders, dry suits, helmets and personal flotation devices.

“This guy was very lucky, but it could have easily gone the other way,” Bryan said. “The rescuers could have got hurt, too. That’s another concern, we always have to try to call off would-be rescuers, and just let us do it.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Just Posted

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

NDP solution to homelessness is to ‘warehouse’ people: BC Liberal leader

Andrew Wilkinson made a campaign stop in Campbell River and was asked about homelessness

Victoria Humane Society takes revenue hit after donation bins vandalized

Organization removes clothing donation bins after contents removed, scattered

South Island Transportation Strategy looks to reduce reliance on personal vehicles

EV charging stations, bike lockers, new park-and-ride stalls among solutions in Capital Region

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Parksville pedestrian airlifted to hospital in Vancouver after nighttime collision

Police report man’s injuries were ‘significant’ but not life-threatening

Shoplifting suspect allegedly spits on worker at store in Nanaimo

Suspect became aggressive when confronted by loss prevention officer at Walmart, say RCMP

Ladysmith man shocked out of his seat after $50,000 Keno win

Larry Salmond plans to purchase a new RV with his winnings

Cowichan Performing Arts Centre streaming new short film tonight

Standing By has been created and performed by Cowichan-raised actor Nicole Ratjen.

Most Read