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Woman saved in swiftwater rescue near Hope

Raft team reached stranded swimmer just before nightfall
A swimmer was swept across the river and stranded by the Othello tunnels in Hope on Sunday night. A search and rescue raft team was able to get to her before dark. (Search and Rescue image)

Two people were rescued just before nightfall on Sunday from a dangerous area of the Coquihalla River.

The two had been swimming in the river near the Othello tunnels in Hope, a popular place to cool off in the Coquihalla Campground area. They ended up across the river and stranded on the opposite side of the raging river, and Hope Search and Rescue was called to the scene at about 7 p.m.

They requested mutual aid from the Chilliwack Search and Rescue Swiftwater team, and monitored the situation on scene. One of the two people was able to make his way back across the river, while the other was pulled out using a rescue raft and swiftwater personnel. She was checked out by BC Ambulance Services and released.

Hope SAR tweeted out photos from the rescue, calling it a “successful swiftwater call. Tks CSAR for your assistance.” They added that swimming at Othello Tunnels is very dangerous and never recommended.

Chilliwack Search and Rescue also tweeted about the event, reminding all swimmers to use personal floatation devices in dangerous waters:

“Swimmer was swept across the river and stranded. Significant downstream hazards. Raft team brought her out b4 dark. Always wear a PFD #BCSAR”

And then on Monday morning, Hope Search and Rescue was called out again. This time was for a injured hiker 20 km up the Sowaqua Forest Service Road. The team drove up the FSR to the injured hiker’s general location and Valley Helicopter was used to bring two rescue members to the hiker. The hiker was flown back out with the rescue team, and taken to to the hospital by ambulance for further medical attention.

Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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