This morning, at approximately 11 a.m. Nelson RCMP were alerted to an overturned 12 foot aluminum boat drifting in the Slocan Pools area of the Kootenay River near Shoreacres.
No one was seen around the boat. Nelson Search and Rescue, Beasley Fire Department and Crescent Valley Fire Department were immediately dispatched. Within a few minutes of rescue crews being deployed, Nelson RCMP received a call from a local South Slocan resident, Chris O’Gorman who advised he had pulled an elderly man from the river a short time prior.
The 84-year-old Glade resident was out fishing in the Slocan Pools when he discovered his boat was filling with water. Before he could bail out the boat it overturned.
The man who was wearing a life jacket, was able to hold on to the overturned boat and call for help.
O’Gorman was out walking his dog when he heard the calls. He saw the overturned boat and raced to the man’s aid by paddling his canoe out into the river with a stick he found on the shore using it as a make shift paddle. O’Gorman was able to reach the man and pull him in to shore. The elderly male was cold but otherwise un-injured.
Police spoke with the Glade resident who advised he was starting to feel that he would not be able to hold on anymore as his hands were too cold. That’s when he saw O’Gorman coming to his rescue.
The RCMP would like to thank O’Gorman for his heroic rescue. It is another reminder of the importance in always wearing a life jacket while boating or using any other type of water craft.
In addition make sure to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. In this case the life jacket and the timely arrival of O’Gorman prevented a potential tragedy on Kootenay River.