Campbell River Search and Rescue called in to recover drowning victim near Woss

A team of Campbell River Search and Rescue swift water technicians were called in by Port McNeill RCMP to assist with a potential drowning on Lukwa Creek near the Woss Townsite on Monday, July 10.

But as the CRSAR team was mobilizing around 6:30 p.m., they received further information that this was probably a fatality they would be dealing with, Grant Cromer said in a CRSAR press release. The team of swift water technicians flew from Campbell River to Woss in a helicopter where after a quick aerial search they spotted a male subject in Lukwa Creek.

The helicopter landed on a gravel bar at the mouth of Lukwa Creek and the Nimpkish River and walked a short distance up the Lukwa Creek to find a male subject deceased in the water. RCMP and BCAS members were unable to access the site due to the steep terrain on both sides of the creek so CRSAR members performed a body recovery and airlifted the subject out to the RCMP.

“It’s an unfortunate ending but our members know not all calls end with success and we were able to recover the subject for the peace and mind of the family,” Cromer saidR. “Members of our SAR group have access to a provincial critical stress intervention debriefing which allows members an opportunity to discuss events from calls in a support therapeutic environment.

“Critical incident stress is a big issue in the first responder world and we take it very seriously, we have a robust system to help our members deal with critical incident stress and mental health issues that arise for line of duty calls.