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Three people pulled from icy Chilliwack River

Three people were pulled from a racing Chilliwack River Saturday, thanks to the combined efforts of RCMP, Chilliwack Search and Rescue, and members of the public.

The drama began at around 1:45 p.m. when a passing RCMP officer was flagged down at the Vedder Bridge and told a raft had overturned and three people were in the icy waters.

With the river running at its highest point in more than month, Chilliwack Search and Rescue and its swift water rescue team were called in.

Two male occupants of the raft were pulled to shore by members of the public who were at the river and saw the event unfold, police say.

However, a female was swept farther down the river and left stranded on a gravel bar east of the Vedder Bridge.

Due to her precarious location, several additional RCMP officers were called in to assist with the rescue efforts.  The swift water Search and Rescue members were able to reach the female and transport her back to a waiting ambulance. “All three rafters were wearing their life jackets which no doubt saved their lives,”  said Cst. Tracy Wolbeck.

Many members of the public played a key role in this rescue being a success.  From an off duty nurse who was treating the two males on shore to two rafters in the river assisting with the rescue of the female.  “We are always very humbled when we see these selfless acts from members of the community,” said Wolbeck.  “We unfortunately experience a lot of these types of calls through the spring and summer and in almost every rescue we participate in, the public is along side us offering their help.”

All three rafters were transported to Chilliwack General Hospital as a precaution and were released shortly after.  The Chilliwack RCMP would like to thank all those who were at the river and assisted in this rescue.

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