A boat was still pinned against the Victoria St. Bridge pillar on Wednesday morning. The occupant of the boat, who was wearing a life-jacket, safely made it shore after his boat lost power, hit the pillar and capsized Tuesday afternoon. Jim Bailey photo

Man makes it safely to shore after boat hits bridge pillar

Responders credit life-jacket for averting ragedy

Wearing a life-jacket has been credit ted for a man safely making it to shore after his boat hit a pillar on the Victoria St. Bridge Tuesday afternoon.

The Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire and Rescue (KBRFR) responded to call at approximately 5 p.m. on Tuesday of a boat on the Columbia River that had struck a support pillar on the bridge, flipping the boat and throwing the occupant, a 52-year-old male, into the river.

Thanks to his life-jacket, the man was able to make it to shore near the Old Bridge and, according to an RCMP report, was “tired but uninjured as a result of the accident.”

“The life-jacket saved him for sure,” said Grant Tyson, operations captain for the KBRFR.

He added by the time the river rescue boat was launched, the man had already safely made it to shore.

After speaking with the male, the Trail RCMP determined the cause of the accident to be a failure of the motor of the 14-foot aluminum boat and the current was too strong to allow the male to padded away from the bridge’s middle pillar.

Both the RCMP and KBRFR want to remind all boaters to wear a personal flotation device when out on the water.

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