Family rescued by ASAR after river hike near Parksville

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue officials say they conducted an intensive rescue this past weekend on the Englishman River.

ASAR said it was called out around 6 p.m. on Saturday to rescue a family of five that had gone for a hike at Englishman River Falls that afternoon. According to ASAR, the family got lost and eventually became stuck on the riverbank much further downstream, across the river from Steelhead Place.

ASAR said members of its swift-water team were sent down the steep embankment from Steelhead Place to swim across the river and bring warm blankets and tarps to the family, who were soaked from the rain and becoming hypothermic. Other teams drove around to the Northwest Bay logging roads and hiked in to the subjects. They then built a fire to warm everybody up as plans were finalized as to how to get the subjects out.

ASAR said it was then decided the best way to get the family back to safety was to bring them across the river to Steelhead Place. Members of the Errington Volunteer Fire Department came to help the search and rescue team lower an inflatable zodiak down the embankment to take across the river. Both teams worked together to help the get the family and then the boat up the steep embankment, where an ambulance was on scene.

"After 12 long hours in the cold wind and rain, the family was safe and sound by around midnight," said a news release from ASAR. "The operation went smoothly due to the great teamwork by everybody involved."               — NEWS Staff/Arrowsmith Search and Rescue

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