Cranberry and North Cedar volunteer fire departments, Nanaimo Search and Rescue and B.C. Ambulance Service responded to Nanaimo River to retrieve the victim of a near-drowning Tuesday. (Nanaimo News Bulletin file)

Rope rescue required after man falls into Nanaimo River

Two dozen emergency responders conduct two-hour-long technical rope rescue

A two-hour-long technical rope rescue was required to retrieve a man who was taken to hospital after he fell into the Nanaimo River.

Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department responded to a swimming hole near the end of Riverbend Road, which runs off of Spruston Road south of Nanaimo shortly after noon Tuesday, July 21, when firefighters were alerted to a possible near-drowning.

According to Ron Gueulette, Cranberry fire chief, the victim, a young man, slipped off a rock and was submerged underwater for about 30 seconds before he was rescued by a woman swimming nearby.

Gueulette said the man did not strike his head when he fell in the water and was not certain what caused him to fall in the first place.

“He slipped off the rock. Whether he had a medical emergency or not, I’m not sure, but there was a woman swimming with him and she actually saw him go under and pulled him out right away,” Gueulette said. “He’s pretty lucky.”

Gueulette said an off-duty nurse came from the other side of the river to assist with reviving the man until emergency crews arrived.

The area where the incident occurred is surrounded by steep terrain. Gueulette estimated two dozen personnel from B.C. Ambulance, Cranberry and North Cedar volunteer fire departments and Nanaimo Search and Rescue participated in what turned into a nearly two-hour-long technical rope rescue operation to bring the victim up from the river to an ambulance crew located at the end of Riverbend Road by about 2 p.m.

Gueulette said with power lines crossing above the location there was no access for a helicopter to help bring the man up from the river, which necessitated the rope rescue in the mid-day 27 C heat.

The victim was transported to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

rescueSearch and Rescue

Just Posted

Sandstone project could transform southern face of Nanaimo

Seacliff Properties touting 3,000 homes, new commercial and industrial districts

New report finds ‘chronic’ shortage of daycare spaces across Greater Victoria

52 per cent of demand met in the best for six surveyed communities

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man walking from Hope to Saanich for healing, reconciliation

‘Kind Lightning’ James Taylor departed Sunday for five days journey

Out on a Limb: What I learned from living through a pandemic

Awesome, I thought, when the pandemic hit, I’ll learn some new skills.

Masks and temperature checks now mandatory to enter Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

Mall says it’s the first in B.C. to put these kind of measures in place

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Purebred breeders go for a walk in Nanaimo to show off their dogs

Purebred dog breeders sometimes get a bad rap, says event organizer

Victoria man to run marathon after overcoming rare cancer diagnosis

Nigel Deacon was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2010

Authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C. ELECTION: Comox Valley ridings short on voter options as snap election called

Courtenay-Comox riding has two candidates; Mid Island-Pacific Rim only has one

West Shore RCMP seeks video footage after homeowner interrupts Colwood break and enter

Police were called to 600-block of Stornoway Drive late Sunday

VIU Elder College going online with dozens of courses this fall

There are 16 courses in the September session

Most Read