View of Hope looking eastbound. (Jenna Hauck/ Black Press file)

Drowning man plucked from Fraser River by alert boaters

Hope resident screamed for help as man carried swiftly down river

Keen eyes and quick actions saved a man who was “maybe a minute” from drowning in the Fraser River in Hope Saturday afternoon.

The young man was a part of a large party gathered at the Rotary Trail along the river, where the Coquihalla River meets the larger body of water. Hope resident Randy Young noticed a couple of young men heading to the water’s edge.

It wasn’t long before the first man into the water swam out too far and got swept away.

“He swam out maybe 20 to 25 feet before he was swept down river and out deeper to the middle of the river,” Young recalls. “He was trying to swim back but could not. The river is just too fast.”

The picnic and swim turned dangerous quickly.

“Within seconds all you could see was his head,” Young adds. “His buddy was running after him on the rocks but could not keep up with him.”

Young knew there was a charter boat out on the water so he ran in its direction, screaming that there was a man in the water.

“They quickly responded and flew down the river to get him,” Young says. A First Nations fishing boat also appeared and both boats raced to the man to pull him out. Young says he isn’t sure which boat reached the man first, and who pulled him out. But, he adds, the danger wasn’t even over yet.

One of the boats the assisted was from Great River Fishing Adventures.

He had already called 911, and quite luckily as it turns out. A friend of the man who was being rescued rushed into the water himself, and as the RCMP officer arrived on scene he was able to race after the man and talk him out of the knee-deep water safely.

Young says most people in the area should know by now not to attempt to swim in the Fraser River. But he’s hoping to share the story to spread further awareness of the dangers that can come from such activities.

“Please if you see anyone close to the Fraser let them know the danger of trying to swim in it,” he said. “It should be common sense but for some they are lacking in that department. The man was rescued by one of the boats but was so lucky that they were in the water — he was maybe a minute from drowning.”

The man had been in the water for up to three minutes and traveled about 1,500 feet west.

Young said he “just felt so helpless and was thinking of all the times that there is no one on the water.

“He would have been gone.”

Just Posted

Police watchdog investigating after pedestrian struck and killed in Surrey

IIO investigating after male killed in crash shortly after being released from police custody

Surrey Mounties say 40 intoxicated teens found on ‘party bus’ in Newton

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Strawberry Hill

PHOTOS: Players putt their way to Las Vegas at Surrey MSOP tournament

Two-day regional qualifier held at Eaglequest Coyote Creek

Electric car-share company to bring 2,000 vehicles to Surrey/White Rock

SUMO is to launch next year with 150 vehicles, and increase to 2,000 by 2022

B.C. cabinet minister denies that Surrey mayor’s friend attended government meeting

Surrey councillor questions Vancouver businessman Bob Cheema’s involvement in official meeting

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

Grand opening of Molson Coors Fraser Valley Brewery at Chilliwack cause for celebration

Ribbon-cutting with dignitaries, Molson brass and family marked the official grand opening

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Powder the muskets, zombies are coming!

Fort Langley National Historic Site offers up A Survivalist’s Guide to a Zombie Apocalypse, Sept. 28

Most Read

l -->