Cultus Lake resident Glenn Charles hands over the keys to a new fire department rescue boat to Cultus Lake Fire Department Chief Warren Mazuren on May 31, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Cultus Lake resident Glenn Charles hands over the keys to a new fire department rescue boat to Cultus Lake Fire Department Chief Warren Mazuren on May 31, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Cultus Lake Fire Department finally has a boat to help save drowning victims

Local resident Glenn Charles started raising funds after young man died in the water in 2020

After a young man drowned at Cultus Lake on a warm summer day in 2020, Cultus resident Glenn Charles didn’t like the bad press directed to local first responders after the incident.

The tragedy likely could not have been prevented, but the fact that the Cultus Lake Fire Department had no boat to hit the water when a call came in was a frustration to many.

So Charles decided to rally the community to do something about it.

READ MORE: Student from India drowned at Cultus Lake Saturday

READ MORE: LETTER: Drowning witnesses upset at emergency response

Less than a year, and a little more than $8,000 later, the fire department hast its own fire rescue boat. Charles spearheaded a GoFundMe and went door to door asking for donations.

Charles was with about 18 members of the fire department and one important donor on May 31 to hand the keys over to Chief Warren Mazuren. Dollar figures on how much the donor contributed was not released, but Cultus resident Travis Clark attended with his little girls Kingston and Kaiya to show support for the new boat.

“It’s the quickest way to respond to things on the water,” Clark said.

“If we can save one life, it’s well worth it,” Mazuren added.

Battalion chief Cody Helmer said with more and more people spending time on the water in the summer, it’s important they can react quickly if there is a need.

The boat will give them full-time coverage on the water to supplement their regular coverage, and to supplement the work done by Chilliwack Search and Rescue.

Crews lately have been training with the boat, using a 180-pound dummy they practice pulling out of the water.


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Members of the Cultus Lake Fire Department train on the water in spring 2021 with the department’s new fire rescue boat purchased with donations raised in the community. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Members of the Cultus Lake Fire Department train on the water in spring 2021 with the department’s new fire rescue boat purchased with donations raised in the community. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

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