Donation from rescued family buys new equipment for Kamloops Search and Rescue
By Ashley Legassic
Search and Rescue volunteer Bert Middelburg operates a inflatable kayak in a mock-rescue on Thompson River off Mission Flats Road in Kamloops while fellow volunteer Chris Koch trails as extra help, Thursday, June 9, 2016.
(ASHLEY LEGASSIC / iNFOnews.ca)
June 10, 2016 - 6:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - A generous donation from a family who was rescued from an avalanche zone at Sun Peaks by Kamloops Search and Rescue has led to some much needed new equipment for the organization.
Kamloops SAR now has a new inflatable kayak they can use to rescue people on the water. The group demonstrated the equipment at a training session last night, June 9, on the Thompson River off Mission Flats Road.
The family of skiers who made the donation was rescued back in February. They called when they realized they had missed the village when skiing back and had ended up out of bounds. Instead of continuing they called for help.
After the rescue, the family decided to make a big donation to search and rescue, which covered the cost of the search and more.
Along with the inflatable kayak, Kamloops Search and Rescue's Michelle Liebe says the organization has also been able to purchase packs which can be dropped from helicopter to assist people who need rescuing, until it is safe to extract them.
The packs include overnight equipment, water, food and warm blankets.
At last night's training session, experienced teen kayaker Pierce Huser paddled out to the island to be 'rescued' by Liebe, Chris Koch and Bert Middelburg.
Liebe swam through the rough current, Koch was extra hands in his own kayak, and Middelburg operated the newly purchased inflatable kayak that — including equipment — is worth about $2,500.
The team has already put the kayak to good use, rescuing a dog who fell of a cliff. The equipment also adds extra safety as members will be able to rescue people without having to swim in whitewater.
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