Camping trip turns into river rescue

A camping trip quickly became a rescue mission for a group up the Gray Creek Pass.

A camping trip quickly became a rescue mission for a group up the Gray Creek Pass.

The group of five Cranbrook friends were cutting wood near their camp, when a man came running up the road. They were Mike Krahn, Randy Sluz, Kris Peltzer, Ken Kiever and Shaun Beier.

“We were about two kilometres up the Gray Creek Pass where you come off the St. Mary’s road,” Krahn said. “We were cutting up some wood and when we shut our saws off, we could hear somebody screaming ‘help’.”

The frantic man and his three vehicle passengers had driven across Redding Creek earlier but got stuck in the middle of the raging creek on the way back. The man had managed to swim, fighting the current, to the bank then ran about a couple of kilometres to get to the campsite.

So the group hopped into their side-by-sides with the man and he led them up the road about nine kilometres and then down an old skidder trail that takes you to Redding Creek.

Krahn said he’d been down the trail before and so was not expecting things to be good.

“We get down there and we can see where the alders open up to the river and sure enough there’s a pickup sitting about 40 feet into the water, halfway across the river,” he said.

The truck was facing them and leaning hard downriver, being pushed by the strong current. Water was flowing over the hood. On top of the truck were the three other passengers, who said they could feel the truck shifting back and forth from the water’s force.

The group anchored the side-by-sides near the water and used a winch line.

“I grabbed the hooked end and walked out into the water along the edge of the bank, up to just below my chest,” Krahn said. “We grabbed a harness and hooked it just below the winch cable and tossed it to the people and had them wrap it around their chest and one by one, we pulled them in.”

Krahn caught each person as they were pulled in and also pulled downstream. The water, which the three people had been sitting in for three and a half hours, was very cold.

“I was in that water altogether for 10 to 15 minutes and I couldn’t feel anything below my waist,” he said.

After the three had been rescued, they took them back to camp, got them dry clothes and warmed up, then one of the campers drove them back to town.

“When we went back there the next day, (the truck) had moved about three feet. It didn’t have far to go to flip over because there was a big hole,” Krahn said.

The truck was later pulled out, he said.

Krahn said the gravity of the situation didn’t hit them until later that night after the rescue, when they were back at camp.

The man who ran from the rescue site had tried to get to the winch on his truck and was swept over the hood and downstream, somehow managing to make the bank. Krahn noted the man had bruises and cuts from the rocks and logs in the stream.

“He was very lucky that he didn’t get sucked down,” Krahn said.

Krahn said everyone was just happy that they all made it out alive.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Cranbrook Arts has opened the doors of their  new gallery space to the public with their inaugural exhibit, Kootenay’s Best.
‘Kootenay’s Best’ opens Cranbrook Arts’ new gallery

This exhibit has been in the works for the past several months and features the work of more than 50 emerging and established artists from across the Kootenays

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read