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

Just Posted

Reflecting Spirit offers tapestry of West Coast stories

Gallery showcases Tofino and Ucluelet artists.

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Suspect in Spiderman suit steals camera on Vancouver Island

Suspect in red and blue “onesie” caught on surveillance footage breaking into truck in Nanaimo

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

Authorities optimistic about Zeballos; choppers grounded due to heavy smoke

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Most Read