Video: Kayakers jump into action to rescue dog from raging B.C. river

Ivory the Silver Lab from the Shuswap is safe and sound after falling in to the raging Adams River

A group of kayakers on the Adams River averted a tragedy after a dog was swept away in the raging river.

On May 18, Haig and Janice Vejprava were hiking the Adams River trail, an area they were very familiar with having been seasonal North Shuswap residents for the past 15 years. Hiking with them was Ivory, a two-year-old white lab.

Haig said after the trio encountered another hiker and her dogs at the top of a hill near the trail system’s parking lot, Ivory bolted down a steep cliff and ended up being swept into the fast-flowing water of the river and out of sight.

Haig and the other hiker, Jennifer Neilly, sprinted downstream hoping to find the dog washed up on shore, but had no luck.

Related: Man dies after dive into Adams River

The search for the dog continued. Neilly contacted the rangers at Roderick Haig-Brown Park, but their search of likely landing points downstream was in vain. The RCMP and Scotch Creek/Lee Creek Fire Department were contacted. She also met a group of teachers from Salmon Arm, who also abandoned their hike to assist with the search.

Some searchers heard Ivory howling, and soon the dog was located on a small clearing at the base of a steep cliff near where she was pulled into the river. Onlookers then tried to keep the dog calm for four hours as a rescue was planned. Fire Chief Mike Engholm returned to the Scotch Creek Fire Hall for rappel equipment, but Haig said a rappel rescue attempt seemed daunting as there were no trees to properly anchor the equipment.

As day turned to early evening, desperation grew and then there was a chance encounter with Emily Boyes, a whitewater kayaker who had lost her kayak upstream. She was walking back down the trail looking for the lost boat when she came upon the situation and offered up another option for rescuing the dog. Boyes had already enlisted the help of friends and fellow kayakers Maison Cavaliere and Luke Robinson to search for her lost kayak. The search for the kayak was abandoned and a rescue attempt was launched.

The three kayakers entered the river upstream of Ivory and headed to the tiny clearing she had climbed onto. Cavaliere pulled his kayak alongside the tiny shelf of land the dog was clinging to, climbed out and attempted to calm the barking dog down. He was soon successful, but the task ahead was perilous.

The rescuers quickly decided that the only way to get the dog to safety would be for Cavaliere to get in the raging river and swim with Ivory to the safety of the eddy at the Adams River bridge. With the other kayakers providing support to make sure man and dog didn’t get swept into the middle of the river, both made the swim to safety.

Haig said they are thankful for everyone involved in the rescue, especially the kayakers, but are also grateful to everyone who assisted, from those who helped contact the fire department to people who bought bottled water for the searchers.


@SalmonArm
sports@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Man sentenced for setting apartment barbecue on fire in Abbotsford

Michael Rodden climbed to second-storey balcony in March 2019

Public urged to continue donating blood during pandemic

Upcoming donor clinics in Abbotsford and Mission

120 more recreation staff laid off by City of Abbotsford

Job cuts from closure of public facilities, city will re-hire after health emergency passes

‘Possibilities are endless’ at Black Press digital career fair

Black Press Digital Career and Education Fair begins April 4

Mission issues a ban on all open burning

Ban includes recreational fire pits, does not include cooking stoves or barbecues

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Most Read