Search and Rescue volunteers retrieve an ice fisherman’s gear on Sunday, Jan. 3 after he fell through the ice on Gardom Lake but was able to save himself before help arrived. (Contributed)

Search and Rescue volunteers retrieve an ice fisherman’s gear on Sunday, Jan. 3 after he fell through the ice on Gardom Lake but was able to save himself before help arrived. (Contributed)

Shuswap Search and Rescue respond after fisherman falls through thin lake ice

Man rescues himself before help arrives but SAR volunteers retrieve his gear

Shuswap Volunteer Search and Rescue members rushed to the rescue of a man who fell through the ice at Gardom Lake only to find he had pulled himself free and left the scene.

Search manager John Schut said the Jan. 3 call about a hole in the thin ice and unattended ice fishing gear was treated as an emergency, so eight SAR volunteers rushed to the lake south of Salmon Arm. Once they arrived, Schut said a witness told them they had seen the man pull himself free from the hole in the ice and return to shore before leaving the area.

Schut said although they were no longer needed, in order to discourage anyone from venturing onto the ice to retrieve the gear, the situation became an unexpected cold-water rescue training session. After donning protective ice-rescue suits, one SAR volunteer crawled out onto the ice with a harness and ropes running back to the rest of the rescue team onshore.

Read More: Chase RCMP warn drivers after ‘brake-checking’ reportedly leads to collision

Read More: Man responsible for fatal Shuswap Lake boat crash out on parole

They retrieved the ice fishing gear, which was turned over to the Enderby RCMP; Schut said the police were trying to track down the gear’s owner in order to return it to them.

In a real rescue, Schut said the suited and harnessed rescue team member would crawl out onto the ice with a second harness for the person who fell through and then both would be dragged back by the rest of the team.

Time is of the essence when a person is in the freezing cold water but Schut said the safety of would-be rescuers should be the first concern when helping someone.

While awaiting search and rescue at the scene of a fall through the ice, Schut said bystanders should not venture onto the ice near the hole but can attempt a rescue using ropes, branches or whatever else might be close at hand.

Read More: Moderna vaccine distributed to remote, rural Interior Health communities

Read More: ‘We are making a stand’: Kelowna church will continue to gather, despite RCMP fine

Schut said people should stay off the ice at Gardom Lake and any other lakes where the ice is thin or where there is a layer of ice or slush on top of the ice surface.

On strong ice, Schut said two inches of ice is required for one person to walk on it safely and four inches is required for groups to walk or for people to ice fish. Due to the warmer weather in recent days, Schut said people should be vigilant as ice on any lake in the area might hold weight in some spots but be weaker in others.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fishing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Revelstoke City Council have denied an application for a development variance permit that would have allowed a cannabis store to be located at the strip mall that hosts Zalas. (Photo via Google Maps)
Revelstoke council stubs out cannabis store proposed at Zalas strip mall

The business was within 100 metres of an organization that hosts youths

The North Columbia Environemental Society has officially become the . (North Columbia Environmental Society)
NCES officially becoming new branch of Wildsight

Wildsight board directors voted in favour on Jan. 25

Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2020 – 10 Year Anniversary Sand Sculpture. (Submitted/CBT)
CBT arts and culture grant program now accepting applications

Apply through the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance

(Pixabay)
‘Roadmap out of COVID-19’: Innovate BC’s program helping businesses recover

CEO Raghwa Gopal said the tech sector is here to help brick and mortar businesses

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to reports of a structure fire on Valleyview Place Jan. 26, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
Fire snuffed in Vernon home

No visible smoke, flames from area of reported structure fire

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Kevin Lee Barrett pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of his mother Eleanor Holmes on Tuesday, Jan. 26. (File)
West Kelowna man who beat his mom could be sentenced up to 9 years

Kevin Barrett entered a surprise guilty plea to the lesser charge of aggravated assault on Tuesday morning

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vernon now has an approved 13 cannabis shops in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon, the ‘Pot capital of B.C.’ greenlights two new stores downtown

Two more shops, within 240 metres, approved, despite neighbouring businesses opposition

11 more cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a cluster on Big White Mountain. Pictured above is TELUS park at Big White Ski Resort, Jan. 26. (Big White Ski Resort)
11 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

This brings the total case count to 225, according to health authorities in a Tuesday update

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

Most Read