Tense day on the river (Friday) when a Search and Rescue (SAR) jet boat hit debris in swift water, above Rivervale, and lost power. Free floating down river towards massive rocks, with eight people on board, things got real tense, real fast.
We briefed on emergency procedures with the whole team before we left the dock and now they where happening.
Knowing the imminent danger, the crew declared a mayday and went into action. A small motor was put into action to give us minimal steering but was no match for the powerful current. After several minutes, that seemed like seconds a coordinated effort got us into a small back eddy and the motor was able to push us to shore.
Countless hours of training and safety briefings pay off big time. After two days of searching the team shook this off and was ready to get back to the search as soon as possible.
But that’s not the real story.
The real story is the amazing fire fighters of the RDKB Fire Department. For the second time in two weeks the department has come to the aid of Search and Rescue.
First with a high angle rope rescue at the Paulson Bridge and on Friday when we had to declare a Mayday.
The Fire boat was there in minutes and arrived just as we made it to shore. Without them and our good luck at getting in, we would have surely run into rocks and sunk the the 25-ft vessel. The fire crew stayed until we were able to repair the boat and successfully test all the systems. With the green light, we proceeded up river to drop off search teams.
We are grateful for there help. Your city should be proud of the firefighters that serve them.
A thankful SAR Team
Castlegar Search and Rescue