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Overdue tubers located safe and sound…

QUESNEL, BC: Albeit cold and tired, four women who were reported as overdue from a day of tubing on the Cottonwood River Wednesday were found earlier this morning, safe and sound… 

Police say on Wednesday just before 10 PM, the family of a 19 year-old female reported that the teen and three of her female friends, ages 20 and 21, were overdue from tubing on the Cottonwood River.

The group were to have floated from the Cottonwood House located on the Barkerville Highway to the Cottonwood Bridge located on Highway 97, however failed to check in with family.

Quesnel RCMP immediately attended and remained in the area throughout the night. RCMP searched the river bank areas and nearby roads in efforts to locate the girls ahead of the planned search, by Quesnel Search and Rescue volunteers, which began at 6:00 AM Thursday morning. 

At approximately 9:00 AM Thursday, the Quesnel RCMP with the assistance of RCMP Air 4 helicopter and Quesnel Search & Rescue located the 4 overdue tubers along the banks of the Cottonwood River.

The girls had become stuck on the banks due to hitting a tree in the middle of the river and being swept off their tubes. Rescuers noted that the young women were ill prepared to spend the night in the bush as they were only wearing swim suits and flip flops, rather risking injury or harm they stayed put.

Search and Rescue technicians employed rope techniques to conduct the rescue due to the steep embankment along with a helicopter which was able to stage approximately 2 km from the girls.

Quesnel SAR crews eventually walked the girls to the helicopter where they were transported to the Quesnel Airport to an awaiting BC Ambulance. All four were medically assessed and released, having only suffered dehydration from slight cold but were physically uninjured.

“This could have ended quite differently with tragic consequences. We once again remind all who are enjoying our waterways as part of their summertime recreational activities to think about safety first; be aware of the water current and conditions, don’t risk it if water is moving fast, wear a lifejacket and carry an emergency signalling device such as a whistle. The RCMP and BCSAR teams throughout British Columbia are hopeful that everyone will enjoy a safe and fun BC Day long weekend,stated Cpl Dan Moskaluk.”

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