River rescue makes for chilly reminder
A close call for a woman who fell into the Cowichan River Wednesday afternoon is prompting search and rescue officials to remind people to take precautions when near fast-flowing rivers.
The woman was trying to cross the river near McAdam Park to get to a camp on the other side when she was swept away.
Tina Phillips with Cowichan Search and Rescue estimates the woman was in the water for about 45 minutes.
“She was hypothermic, she had some injuries as the result of probably being bounced off a couple of rocks on the way down,” she speculated. “The water is quite shallow but it’s still incredibly strong.”
The woman was treated for hypothermia and appeared to be in fair condition Wednesday evening.
Phillips pointed out that people shouldn’t be fooled into thinking the water is safe just because the weather has been warm lately.
“In this time of the year and with the snowmelt... the water is still extremely cold. And one of the highest risks is hypothermia and death. it’s always a close call when you’re dealing with hypothermia.”
Phillips said it was a relief this week's rescue effort had a happy ending after the search for a Calgary man a few weeks ago turned out in tragedy. William Shearer was visiting his family in Lake Cowichan when he slipped into the river mid-April. His body turned up over a month later.
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