A cliff extrication operation underway at Rainbow Falls Sept. 5.

A cliff extrication operation underway at Rainbow Falls Sept. 5.

Man dies near Rainbow Falls

Burnaby man falls from cliff near Rainbow Falls Sept. 5

A man died after falling off a cliff near Rainbow Falls last Saturday.

Jason George, a 26-year old Burnaby resident, was camping with four friends at Cogburn Beach on the east side of Harrison Lake over Labour Day weekend. According to the BC Coroner’s Service, George climbed a cliff to get a better view of Rainbow Falls. He fell to a plateau at the base and died on scene.

“When one of the men tried to climb to the waterfalls he fell from the cliff into the river,” says Sgt. Darren Rennie of the Agassiz RCMP. “Another member from the group attempted to climb down to him and became trapped on the cliff.”

RCMP, supported by Kent Harrison Search and Rescue (KHSAR) and BC Ambulance immediately responded. According to Neil Brewer, one of the team’s SAR managers, when crews arrived at Rainbow Falls, located seven kilometres up Harrison East Forest Service Road, they found one male stranded above a cliff but no sign of the second person.

“We had already activated a helicopter ‘long line’ response through Chilliwack Search and Rescue,” stated Brewer.

When the helicopter arrived on scene they had difficulty locating George, but eventually spotted him in a very dangerous location high up the falls from the road. Due to his position in the water, it was determined he was deceased.

With the light failing and a “very difficult recovery,” Brewer explains, the helicopter crew was forced to suspend the body extrication until Sunday. Meanwhile, crews on scene worked to rescue the first male from the cliff.

“Fortunately he was not injured, but it still took over an hour to get him safely back to the road,” reports Brewer. “He’d gotten himself into a nasty spot” on a cliff roughly 20 feet above ground.

As this rescue was in process, KHSAR got another call for an injured ATV rider at the 25 km mark on Harrison East, north of Cogburn Creek. The man had gone off the road at a bend, ending up approximately 100 feet down a steep embankment with both arms fractured. Once the rescue at Rainbow Falls was concluded, the KHSAR team quickly drove 18 kilometres up the road. They performed a rope rescue to retrieve the ATV rider, who was taken by ambulance to Harrison where a medivac helicopter was waiting.

KHSAR members concluded that rescue at 1:30 a.m., then were back to Rainbow Falls at 7 a.m. Sept. 6 to work with Chilliwack SAR and Valley Helicopters to extract the deceased hiker.

Barb McLintock, media relations for the BC Coroners Service, says George’s family has been notified and has asked for privacy at this time. The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate the death.

Following the weekend incidents, RCMP remind backcountry users to use caution.

“The backcountry, although beautiful, is dangerous. Police remind everyone who enjoys these remote regions of our area to always remain aware of the dangers nature presents,” said Cpl. Mike Rail.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The 11th annual Christmas Stocking Drive hosted by Royal LePage runs now until Dec. 11. (David Sucsy, Getty Images via Metro Creative Graphics)
Chilliwack Realtors asking people to help fill Christmas stockings for kids, seniors

Donations of cash, items needed for Christmas Stocking Drive hosted by Royal LePage

The BC Court of Appeal in Vancouver.
BC Court of Appeal hearing Barry Neufeld’s arguments why defamation suit should go ahead

BC Supreme Court tossed out lawsuit against Glen Hansman a year ago following anti-SLAPP legislation

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
First ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room of its kind in B.C. opening in Chilliwack

The ‘Willow Room’ is for reporting domestic violence, sexual, or gender-based violence to police

Trustees Barry Neufeld (left) and Darrell Furgason at a Jan. 29, 2019 meeting. (File photo/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack teachers respond to trustee’s ableist slurs

Teachers’ association calling for Neufeld to resign, board to censure Furgason

Meaghan Esmeijer delivers fully packed diaper backs to the maternity floor of Chilliwack General Hospital as part of the Southside Church ‘Love them Both’ program. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack’s Southside Church spreads Christmas cheer with ‘All is Bright’ day

The fifth annual community outreach event happens Nov. 28 with activities throughout Chilliwack

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

File photo
Surrey RCMP investigating death threat against Surrey councillor

‘On Monday morning I received a threat on messenger that basically said to put a bullet in me,’ Councillor Jack Hundial told the Now-Leader

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read