250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 9:48 pm

Kayaker Rescued From Bowron River

Sunday, July 31, 2016 @ 7:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – A male kayaker who was travelling on his own can thank Prince George Search and Rescue for recovering him safely from an island in the Bowron River.

At about 6:30 Saturday night the RCMP requested assistance from Prince George SAR.  A lone kayaker had departed the Bowron River Rest stop earlier in the day and was scheduled to meet up with family in the afternoon. After failing to arrive for several hours after the scheduled rendezvous time his family called for help. The man was located by a Search and Rescue team on an island in the river and was rescued by helicopter and returned to his family.

Search officials say the man had greatly underestimated the time it would take to complete the trip as well as the skill level required to kayak the stretch of river. Once he realized he was  incapable of completing the trip he stopped and had the skills and abilities to start a fire, build a small shelter and wait for help.

Search and Rescue has some sound advice for the general public: Never travel alone in the backcountry, understand the time and skill requirements of the activity and if you find yourself in a survival situation, stop traveling, find shelter and make yourself easy to spot. Bright colours, smoke and being in open areas are all ways to make yourself more visible to searchers.


People’s stupidity and lack of respect for nature, never ceases to amaze me.

‘Hey, a river, I just bought a kayak from Costco and go down it for a bit’. ‘Sounds good bud, we haven’t looked at a map or the conditions of the river, but we’ll meet you downstream in .. lets say an hour? That looks about right’. ‘Hold me beer, I’ll be right back’.

    On the upside, once he realized he was in over his head he did the right thing. He got to where he was safe, made himself visible (fire) & hunkered down to wait for rescue. This could have ended tragically if he hadn’t made those choices. Once more, kudo’s to SAR & others, great job!!

    It sounds like you are describing the average driver.

    And how do you know this is the first time he kayaked? It is likely this is the first time he kayaked the Bowron or as long a journey down the Bowron as he had planned. However, he was prepared for it – someone knew he was gone and when he was expected to return, he had gear with him to keep himself safe, etc. etc. In addition, he managed to keep himself safe while paddling and avoided log jams which are common along that river.

    Yes, it is safer to go with a partner. Yes it is safer to have a two way satellite communication device with you and to keep it in a dry bag.

    Of course, we could all shun adventurous things and become couch potatoes and die of not walking, running, hiking, skiing, driving cars, etc. etc …. just be found having died of a heart attack lying on the couch. ….. even then the ambulance has to come, police, even the coroner.

      “Of course, we could all shun adventurous things and become couch potatoes and die of not walking, running, hiking, skiing, driving cars, etc. etc”. Amen!! Who among us (especially when we were young & invincible) has never gone off the beaten path, done something risky or stupid & only by sheer dumb luck or the grace of God, has lived to tell (& laugh) about it. In most everything in life we have to start somewhere. No one starts out an experienced, capable outdoors person. Experience & knowledge almost always involves misadventure on some level. I remember a solo hiking trip to Mt. Robson when I was in my teens, looking at Rearguard Mt. & thinking ” that looks easy to get to & climb”. Getting to it was a little dicey, 2 glacier fed river crossings & a bear encounter to get to the base. The scramble up beside the glacier was mostly uneventful, but once I got to the plateau where Rearguard separates from the north face of Robson, that’s where the fun (stupidity) started. Spotting footsteps across the glacier I thought…Why not, I’m here… Luckily for me, only half way across the glacier, I was intercepted by 2 guys on their decent who, after a proper scolding & couldn’t believe I got to where I was was in shorts, t-shirt & running shoes, guided me safely back to terra firma. That got me interested & going on mountaineering, the two gracious climbers gave me loads of advice & encouragement as well as on the safer path to seek out experienced help & partners. Could have been waaayyy worse outcome, but hey, I was young, inexperienced with no appreciation for my own mortality.

    BTW, a kayak from Costco does not cut it going down that river. Those are just toys.


    good to see you’re not making assumptions.

Comments for this article are closed.