NEWS

Fishing group rescued from rising waters of Lower Capilano River

09/26/2014 07:58 EDT | Updated 11/26/2014 05:59 EST
Rising water levels from heavy rain are to blame for trapping a fishing group on an island in the Lower Capilano River just below the Highway 1 bridge between North Vancouver and West Vancouver.

Mike Cairns, assistant fire chief with the District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, said his crews were called to the scene at around noon, several hours after the fishers set out for the day.

"They were able to walk out onto the island earlier this morning and then, since then, we've had a lot of rain and the waters levels came up quickly," he said.

A swiftwater rescue team went down with a boat and brought the fishing group over to a more secure area for the next step—to wait for the water level to go down.

"Right now none of them are under distress," Cairns told CBC News at the time "I think they're continuing to fish, actually."

Tony D'Angelo, assistant fire chief with West Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, said operators at the Cleveland Dam were called to help resolve the situation.

"We did have to shut the Cap. River dam down to try and lower the water level because it was quite high, and it did make a significant improvement," he said.

"The attraction right now is there is a good fish run going on right now, but when you factor in the heavy rains and the turbulent water that the Cap. can produce it's quite a risky situation for fishermen," D'Angelo said.

The four men and one woman were eventually able to walk back to shore unharmed, but the potential for injury is always there, according to West Vancouver Fire Chief Martin Ernst.

"This does happen almost every time of year when we get our first major torrential rain and when salmon are running," he told CBC News.

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