North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP officers honoured for life-saving efforts

Constables helped rescue one man after another drowned in boating accident

Constables Starr and Kongus from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment were honoured recently for their life-saving efforts following a fatal boating accident. (Submitted)

Two officers from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment were honoured on the weekend for their efforts to rescue one man after a boating accident that claimed the life of another man.

Late in the day on April 18, Const. David Starr and Const. Warren Kongus were dispatched to Lois Lake, southwest of Duncan, after a hiker near the lake reported hearing cries for help from a small island.

“Lois Lake is remote, lacks cell phone reception and is accessed by logging roads,” related Sgt. Trevor Busch, Operations Support NCO for the detachment. “The responding officers had local knowledge of the area which assisted them in arriving on scene quickly.”

Two Duncan men in their 60s had ventured out on the lake for an overnight fishing trip when their small boat overturned. One man, who was not wearing a personal floatation device, drowned, but the other man, who was wearing a PFD, was able to swim to the small island and yell for help.

The officers were able to communicate with the survivor, comforting him while they awaited Cowichan Valley Search and Rescue. The man was taken to Cowichan District Hospital around 11 p.m. and was treated for hypothermia. He credits Starr and Kongus with saving his life.

“It was the actions of the police officers, yelling out to me, that reignited my will to survive,” he told the RCMP, according to Busch.

On Saturday, May 9, the officers were presented with North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP challenge coins. Challenge coins have a longstanding tradition among police and the military, and 32 such coins have been presented to members of the North Cowichan/Duncan detachment for efforts going above and beyond their duties.

“May 10 to 16 is also National Police Week and a great time to recognize the outstanding efforts of the officers in our detachment,” Busch stated. “This was a terrible tragedy that could have been much worse without the actions of these officers. It is also a reminder about how important it is to wear a PFD while boating.”

RCMP

Just Posted

VicPD uses ‘less-lethal’ rounds to remove woman barricaded in stranger’s basement

The woman is believed to have broken into a dealership, attempting to steal a vehicle earlier in the evening

Victoria tells newcomers to move to the back of the housing line

Victoria council recommends prioritizing housing for people in the area for at least a year

Vancouver Island woman wins $100,000 weight-loss challenge

Campbell River’s Kendrah Paul lost 140 pounds

Bamfield residents, visitors pressure province as anniversary of fatal crash approaches

Letter-writing campaign makes ‘heartfelt, emotional pleas’ to improve road conditions

Vancouver Island MLA says too much on shoulders of RCMP

Reformed Police Act could look at spreading responsibility to other responders

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Airforce search and rescue helicopter drops in at Cameron Lake for training

Distinctive yellow CH-149 Cormorant turns heads after using Island lake for impromptu hoist

Vancouver Island business not happy about public porta-potty installed next door

Ladysmith Health Food Stores launches petition against the temporary washroom

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Greater Victoria hardly making a dent in greenhouse gas emissions target

One-per-cent drop from 2007 to 2018 a far cry from the 33-per-cent goal for 2020

Parkinson SuperWalk goes virtual throughout B.C. due to COVID-19

People encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood, along community trails, through parks, forests

Missed rent payments ‘cause of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

Most Read