Creston Fire Rescue warns Goat River swimmers to be cautious

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  • Jul. 29, 2013 6:00 p.m.
The bridge above Goat River on Canyon-Lister Road.

The bridge above Goat River on Canyon-Lister Road.

Swimmers in Goat River upstream of the Goat River Bridge on Canyon-Lister Road need to exercise caution, warned Creston Fire Rescue Chief Michael Moore after a male in his early 30s became trapped in the canyon on July 24.

“The popular swimming spot on the north side of the bridge is near a cascading waterfall that drops down about 20 feet,” he said. “The water is rapid and could easily pin or trap a person against a rock, being too swift to get out of [and] would lead to a drowning easily.”

The call that the fire department initially received was that there was a possible drowning in the canyon, but it turned out that the male was stuck. Firefighters planned to make a rope rescue, but the male managed to climb up the west bank before Creston Fire Rescue arrived. He was checked over by BC Ambulance Service paramedics at the scene, and was released.

As this situation proved, it is possible to survive being washed down the falls, but once a person is at the pool below, getting out of the river is difficult — it continues about a quarter-mile to the hydroelectric dam with sheer rock walls making an exit difficult.

“In some cases over the past several years, rope rescues have taken place where individuals purposely go down into the area below the bridge thinking they can get out, but once down into the bottom it is virtually impossible to climb their way out,” said Moore.