Along with assisting with the first night of the search for a man missing and presumed drowned after a boat collision on Sept. 1, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 106 volunteers responded to four other rescue calls over the Labour Day long weekend. The last long weekend of the summer was far different than the rest of 2019, which had been much quieter for the RCMSAR station than previous years.
The first call of the weekend came on Friday, Aug. 30. About 7:15 a.m. the RCMSAR rescue boat was called upon to transport ambulance crews to a houseboat south of Marble Point where a woman was unconscious. The woman was treated by the ambulance crew and taken to meet a waiting ambulance in Sicamous so she could be taken to hospital.
Assisting the unconscious woman would not be the RCMSAR volunteers’ only task of the day. At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 30 the call went out again, this time to help a 35-year-old man who suffered injuries while cliff diving into Mara Lake, across from Swansea Point. Station Leader Fred Banham said the man landed in shallow water and suffered head and back injuries. The marine search and rescue boat transported ambulance paramedics to this incident as well; they provided the man with first aid while he was being transported back to Sicamous.
The early morning hours of Sept. 1 brought another call for the RCMSAR station. At 12:45 a.m, a call was received about a 34-year-old man having a seizure aboard a houseboat. The houseboat made it to the wharf at Twin Anchors before the RCMSAR boat could respond. Banham said the search and rescue volunteers stood by to assist as the man was taken to the ambulance.
Both of RCMSAR Station 106’s boats were involved in the search for 33-year-old Ryan Hartmann who was one of the people thrown from a speedboat that crashed into another shortly after 8 p.m. on Sept. 1. According to the RCMP, Hartmann is missing and presumed drowned. The SAR crew searched the lake near the scene of the accident into the early morning hours of Sept. 2.
A final call of the long weekend was received at 12:56 p.m. on Sept. 2. Banham said a 49-year-old woman suffered a drug overdose on a boat near Hungry Cove up Anstey Arm, a remote area near the north end of Shuswap Lake. The woman was treated with Naloxone and taken to a waiting ambulance in Sicamous to be transported to hospital.
Banham said the long weekend was a very busy one for RCMSAR crew in contrast to the quiet summer that preceded it. He added that historically the July and August long weekends bring with them a higher volume of calls than the September long weekend did, but not this year.
“By September you can usually almost put the boat on the trailer because there’s nothing else happening, but that’s certainly not the case this year,” Banham said.