Search and rescue crews jumped into action Wednesday afternoon after a couple became stranded on a small island in Mission Creek, near Pasdena Road.
Dillon Brotzel and Paige Wood were forced to scramble for the nearest piece of land when they became separated from their life rafts.
“My wife’s not that experienced at it, it was her first time, so when we branched off she got caught in a really sticky spot,” said Broztel. “I had to get out of my boat and go and get her, and that’s where we lost our rafts.”
Within 90 minutes of arriving on scene, rescue crews were able to transport the couple to safety.
Because the two were in no immediate danger, Scott Cronquist, deputy fire chief with the Kelowna Fire Department, said the swift water rescue team was able to plan carefully and execute a thorough and effective rescue.
“We’re not going to rush into anything, we’re going to make sure our plan is good, make sure we’ve got all the safety systems in place before we put our people at risk,” said Cronquist.
Brotzel, who said he is an experienced rafter, said there were some unnerving moments before he and his wife were able to climb on to the island.
“It was probably about minute and a half holding on to each other,” said Brotzel. “It tried to drag her under, she was slipping and I was able to hold on to her and finally get a foot place and drag her on to the log. I’m just happy she’s OK, that’s all I care about.”
Cronquist said today’s events serve as a cautionary tale for people who are considering going into the creek at this time of year.
“We want to tell people to stay off the creek until all danger has passed,” said Cronquist.
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