Chilliwack SAR ready for rescues on the river

They get about 20 rescue calls every year for the fast-moving Fraser, out of an average year where they see about 80 callouts in total.

Chilliwack Search and Rescue members Dan McAuliffe and Doug Fraser chat near the team's brand new jet boat for swift water rescues.

Chilliwack Search and Rescue members Dan McAuliffe and Doug Fraser chat near the team's brand new jet boat for swift water rescues.

Chilliwack Search and Rescue just took possession of a brand-new speed boat that was custom designed for their swift-water rescue calls.

The high-calibre river boat will be mainly deployed on the mighty Fraser River, explained Doug Fraser, search manager for Chilliwack SAR.

They get about 20 calls every year on the fast-moving Fraser, out of an average year where they see about 80 callouts in total.

Last year was a record year with 86 calls.

The ample roominess of the new boat will be crucial.

“The interior design is built for patient care,” Fraser noted. “We’ve got more room to manoeuvre, and lots of space to treat people while in transport.”

In the old days, they could only squeeze in two highly trained SAR volunteers.

“There’d be no room for anyone else, and if we had a stretcher, it had to be laid across. It was a definite challenge, but we made do.

“With the new boat, we can carry a crew of four, and still have room for patients and a stretcher, and other personnel if need be.”

The jet boat with its custom lighting, navigation and communication equipment ended up with a pricetag of about $92,000.

“We paid for it with about five or six years of savings.”

The not-for-profit SAR organization did not get a gaming grant for this project.

“We didn’t end up having a single major donor, but instead we did a lot of saving for it.”

It’s the third motor-powered boat for the super-busy Chilliwack SAR team and replaces their aging Zodiac that was in active use since the 1980s, when it was donated to them by the Chilliwack Co-op.

“We have now donated it to another search and rescue team,” he said about the older Zodiac that saw upgrades and a new engine in recent years.

The new jet boat won’t see any action in the Chilliwack River, but might see a rescue call to the section of the river near the Vedder Canal. They could also deploy it on the water out at Chilliwack Lake or in Cultus Lake, but they’d have to use caution on Harrison Lake, since it’s not meant to travel.

“We expect to get 20 plus years out of this boat,” he said.

The jet boat easily fits seven and was custom designed by a builder out of Agassiz.

“He did a tremendous job of listening to our needs, and list of suggestions. We are very happy with what he managed to produce for us,” said Fraser.

 

Just Posted

.
Fraser Health monitors long-term care vaccination rates amid local COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 transmission has largely been on the decline in Agassiz-Harrison

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema, a member of the Canadian national women’s soccer squad.
Another scoreless draw for Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and Canadian national women’s soccer squad

Canada played Brazil to a 0-0 tie days after doing the same in a friendly against the Czech Republic

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

Chilliwack firefighters watch as an O’Connor Towing operator removes a stolen Volkswagen station wagon from the Fraser River off Cannor Road in west Chilliwack on June 13, 2021. (William Snow photo)
PHOTOS: Stolen vehicle dumped in Fraser River in Chilliwack Sunday

Search and Rescue determined there was no one inside the car found upside down off Cannor Road

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A letter from a senior RCMP officer in Langley said Mounties who attended a mayor’s gala in January of 2020 used their own money. Controversy over the event has dogged mayor Val van den Broek (R) and resulted in the reassignment of Langley RCMP Supt. Murray Power (L). (file)
Langley RCMP officers used ‘own money’ to attend mayor’s gala, senior officer says

‘I would not want there to be a belief that the police officers had done something untoward’

Squirrels are responsible for most of U.S. power outages. Black Press file photo
Dead squirrels in park lead Richmond RCMP to probe ‘toxic substance’ found in trees

Police aren’t sure if the chemical was dumped there or placed intentionally

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Most Read