Emergency responders attend the scene on Hwy 16 near China Bar where a fisherman drowned in the Skeena River March 24. (Terrace SAR photo)

Emergency responders attend the scene on Hwy 16 near China Bar where a fisherman drowned in the Skeena River March 24. (Terrace SAR photo)

UPDATE: Man drowns crossing Skeena River

59-year old Prince Rupert victim pronounced dead at Mills Memorial

A Prince Rupert man downed in the Skeena River Tuesday afternoon near China Bar, 60 km west of Terrace.

The 59-year old received CPR on scene by BC Ambulance paramedics and was rushed to Mills Memorial Hospital for further resuscitation efforts but was soon pronounced dead, according to Terrace Search and Rescue.

A second man was treated for hypothermia and later released.

Initial reports indicated the men were fishing, but it’s now understood they were harvesting wild cottonweed as a treatment of some kind against the coronavirus.

According to the survivor’s statement to Terrace Search and Rescue (TSAR), the two men had successfully crossed the river in ankle-deep water to China Bar, but around 5 p.m. they attempted their return from a different location and ran into trouble as the water depth increased rapidly, and they swam for shore.

READ MORE: Missing skier found on Shames Mountain near Terrace after losing ski, spending night in backcountry

Two BC Ambulance crews were en route from Prince Rupert to Terrace when they happened to spot the survivor flagging down traffic for help. Two paramedics descended the river bank and found the second man unresponsive in the water.

Paramedics administered CPR and coordinated with Terrace SAR for a longline evacuation up the steep bank, and with RCMP for a highway closure and helicopter staging area. A third ambulance was called from Terrace for emergency transport.

TSAR vice president Dave Jephson said he is deeply sympathetic with the family and friends of the deceased man, and hopes the tragedy will serve as caution to anyone taking risks outdoors this time of year.

READ MORE: Ohio couple donates $10,000 to Terrace SAR to thank them for late son’s recovery

“From an operational perspective, things couldn’t have gone better,” he said, acknowledging the BC Ambulance paramedics for their response to an unfolding situation and their coordination of other agencies for assistance. “And yet this man’s life couldn’t be saved. This is a precarious time of year, and this is not the first [time] this has happened.””

In total, responders in three ambulances, two police cruisers, and 12 members of Terrace Search and Rescue Rope Rescue, and Swiftwater Rescue attended the scene.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

(Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared Thursday.
COVID-19 outbreak at LNG Canada Project site

14 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at this time

A man has been arrested after a Nov. 11 break and enter at the Sandspit Airport, Queen Charlotte RCMP said in a media release on. Nov 17. (Black Press Media files)
Man arrested after Nov. 11 break and enter at local airport

Queen Charlotte RCMP investigate recent spate of break and enters

The 4.1 magnitude earthquake detected on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, is shown in pink. (Earthquakes Canada)
4.1 magnitude earthquake detected near Haida Gwaii

Event happened about 40 kilometres southwest of Village of Queen Charlotte

Numuch Keitlah, left, and Jake Thomas, centre, participate in a Coastal Nations search and rescue exercise off the coast of Vancouver Island in this undated handout photo. The recently operational Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary has more than 50 members from five Indigenous territories who are trained in marine search and rescue. They are on call day and night to respond to emergencies along some of B.C.’s most rugged and remote coastal areas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Jordan Wilson *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Canada’s first Indigenous-led coast guard auxiliary patrols B.C.’s rugged coast

Auxiliary is part of the feds’ $1.5 billion plan to improve marine safety and protect the environment

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Randy Bell. (File photo)
Former northern B.C. mayoral candidate arrested after allegedly refusing to wear mask

Randy Bell handcuffed and given a warning at Bulkley Valley Credit Union in Smithers

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

James Corden on the Late Late Show talking about BC Ferries on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. (Screenshot)
‘You’ll see it when you see it’: BC Ferries mask graphic gains James Corden’s attention

Turns out, James Corden fans were just as quick as B.C. social media users to pick up on the dual imagery

Andrew Wilkinson addresses a BC Liberal Forestry Rally in Campbell River on Oct. 17, 2020.
Andrew Wilkinson quits as BC Liberal Leader, party to choose interim replacement

Wilkinson had previously said he would stay in his role till a new leader were to be selected

Most Read