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Woman pulled from Columbia River in middle of the night

KBRFR rescues woman from river early Wednesday morning
Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue launched its rescue boat early Wednesday morning to pull a woman from the Columbia River. Trail Times file photo

Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue (KBRFR) successfully pulled a woman from the Columbia River early Wednesday morning.

An 18-year-old Castlegar woman was recovering at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital after she went into the river “on her own,” said Cpl Darryl Orr of the Trail and Greater District RCMP Detachment

The call came in just after midnight, at 12:30 a.m., and shortly before 1 a.m. the rescue was complete.

“We were able to get the boat in the water in short order and successfully rescue,” KBRFR Fire Chief Dan Derby told the Trail Times.

According to the KBRFR report, seven firefighters from Company #4 in Trail responded to a call that a female was being swept down the Columbia River from the Trail boat launch.

Shortly before 1 a.m. the woman was located in the middle of the river near the end of Glenmerry.

“She went into the river on her own,” said Orr, adding the woman was dealing with mental health issues.

“She went quite a distance before she was rescued by the fire boat.”

He added the woman has recovered physically from the river incident and is currently at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital receiving treatment.

Orr also praised the efforts of the KBRFR crew.

“These guys are pros,” he said.

“We’re pretty lucky here the way they can operate that boat. They get it in and out of the water despite risks to their own lives. It’s amazing work that they do that is often un-recognized.”

Derby also acknowledged the company’s quick response with the rescue boat.

“Generally we can get the boat in the water in under 10 minutes,” said Derby.

“By the time we got to her she had gone down stream a fair ways. It was one of those nights when it was great to have that boat resource in our community and working together with the RCMP and BC Ambulance.”

Locating someone in the Columbia River during the middle of the night was another challenge the KBRFR crew successfully completed.

“We upgraded the lights on the boat about a year or two ago with new LED lights,” explained Derby. “And that makes a big difference for searching at night.

“We had some information and just started a search grid. And it was a successful rescue.”