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Man, dog and corporal all safe after drama in Courtenay River

This dog was the object of a rescue in the fast-flowing Courtenay River. - Photo courtesy Comox Valley RCMP
This dog was the object of a rescue in the fast-flowing Courtenay River.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Comox Valley RCMP

A Nanaimo man, his dog and a Comox Valley RCMP corporal are safe after spending some time in the Courtenay River late Thursday night.

Shortly before 9 p.m. on Nov. 29, RCMP responded to a call for assistance along the river near the Fifth Street Bridge.  A man was in the river attempting to rescue his dog, which  had fallen in, and was losing grip on a garden hose being held by another man on the riverbank.

Cpl. Chris Backus requested a rope and with the assistance of other officers was lowered into the swift-moving river. The man was then raised to shore as Cpl. Backus held onto his dog.

The Courtenay Fire department arrived and helped raise the dog to shore after Cpl. Backus had him secured with a rope. Several minutes later, Cpl. Backus was able to climb up a ladder on a rope.

“Cpl. Backus' actions are commended as he clearly placed his own safety in jeopardy while saving the life of the man and his dog,” Sgt. T.J Higginson commented shortly after assisting on scene.

The first man on scene played a crucial role in saving this man and his dog calling 911 and waiting for help to arrive. The assistance offered up from all members on shift, the Courtenay Fire Department, B.C. Ambulance and Search and Rescue personnel was also instrumental in last night's successful outcome.

— Comox Valley RCMP

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