Six fishermen rescued from rising water in B.C.'s Capilano River
VANCOUVER -- Firefighters in North Vancouver, B.C. say they rescued six fishermen on the Capilano River Saturday afternoon, less than two weeks after a sudden release of water from the Cleveland Dam swept away a father and son who were fishing there.
David Dales, assistant chief of operations for District of North Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, told CTV News Vancouver a bystander first called firefighters around 9 a.m. to express concern about a group of seven fishermen on a sandbar in the river near the Highway 1 overpass.
When crews attended, the fishermen said they didn't need to be rescued and wanted to keep fishing, according to Dales.
The water in the river continued rising throughout the day, and firefighters were called back to the scene around 2 p.m.
"They had no plan to get off the sandbar safely," said Dales of the group.
While crews watched, one of the fishermen decided to swim to shore, Dales said.
"He attempted a crossing and almost drowned," said the assistant chief. "Luckily, he made it across."
The remaining six fishermen stayed put, and firefighters called in assistance from the West Vancouver Fire Department and set up a swift water rescue.
All six of the remaining fishermen were able to make it to shore with the help of rescue crews, said Dales, adding that things could have been a lot worse.
"Quite frankly, these fishermen probably should have left this sandbar around 9 o'clock this morning," he said.
The rescue comes less than two weeks after a tragic incident killed a father and son who were fishing on the same river.
On Oct. 1, human error caused the Cleveland Dam to unleash a torrent of water onto the Capilano River without warning. Several fishermen were caught up in what witnesses described as a wall of water. Two were able to swim to shore themselves, while two were rescued from the water.
Ryan Nickerson and his son Hugh were swept away in the incident. The father's body was recovered shortly after the incident, while the son is still considered missing.