Group rescued unharmed after attempting to tube Lakelse River

Terrace Search and Rescue brought in helicopter to conduct search

A family group was rescued by Terrace Search and Rescue (SAR) early in the morning of June 29 after spending the night on the bank of Lakelse River following a tubing mishap.

A mother and three kids set out on the river June 28 believing it would be a leisurely ride, according to Dave Jephson, vice-president of Terrace SAR.

“They started to make their way down the Lakelse River, and at some point in time they started to encounter the numerous logjams that are on the water,” he said. “After climbing over so many logjams, obviously it got dark, traveling wasn’t safe any more, they tried to find a road to walk out to, but couldn’t find one, so they went back to the edge of the river so they could be in a safe spot.”

The mother’s husband was waiting downriver to pick the group up, and when they didn’t show he contacted police. Terrace SAR was called in around 11:30 p.m. and began searching near the canyon on Lakelse River where the group had initially set out from.

“We started searching from the canyon, the back logging roads, realizing it’s just a gnarly section of river to search, and we were going to need daylight,” Jephson said.

Terrace SAR regrouped and planned to set out with a helicopter at first light on June 29, Jephson said.

“We took off and located one tube first, in a logjam. The searchers kept going and then that’s when they spotted the individuals on the shoreline,” he said.

The group was unprepared for a night in the woods, Jephson said, but they improvised to keep warm.

“Great thinking, at some point they cut the tube up and wrapped themselves up with it at night, and that kept them warm,” he said.

Jephson said Lakelse River is not safe for tubing.

“This is a non-recreational river,” he said.

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