Detachment recognizes Lake Windermere ice rescuers

The Columbia Valley RCMP's case highlights for the weekend of January 6.

One of the problems I have when I take two weeks off for Christmas is getting back to work and back into work mode.

It also ticks me off when I can’t remember all the passwords that I have to use at the office.  I close my eyes and let the fingers go where they want to go.  Feel like Luke Skywalker, “let the Force be with you.”

When all else fails call the help line.

January 5

• A citizen contacted the detachment to advise that a semi appeared to have an insecure load. The semi was located at the lights in Radium, and it was determined that the load did shift over. The semi was escorted to the Edgewater Mill at which time it was straightened out. Our thanks to the mill.

• Columbia Valley detachment responded to a single vehicle accident with minor injuries on Riverview Road in Fairmont. A ’98 GMC failed to negotiate a sharp bend, hitting some black ice at which time the vehicle went off the road.

The driver, a 73 year-old male from Calgary, and passenger received minor injuries. Both were taken to the Invermere hospital to be checked out.

January 6

• Columbia Valley detachment members responded to a single vehicle accident on Hwy 95 north of Columbia Road in Edgewater. A ’93 Ford Ranger attempted to make a turn on the highway and ended up in the ditch. The male driver was found to be only 15 years old. The male was issued a ticket for driving without a licence and taken to his guardian’s residence.

• Columbia Valley detachment responded to a domestic assault investigation in the 4000 block of Meadows Crescent in Fairmont. As a result of the investigation a 47 year-old male was charged with assault. The victim did not require medical attention. The male was released with conditions for a future court date in Invermere.

• As a result of complaints of threats being made and further escalation after school hours, police arrested a 17 year-old female and recommended charges. The investigation is continuing.

January 7

•  An adult male operating a bike was peddling from Invermere to Windermere when he fell through some thin ice.

Fortunately for the victim, Elaine Johnson was walking her dog in the area and witnessed the fall.

The male, dressed in full clothing, went underwater before being able to come back to surface and hang on to other thin ice.

Elaine called to four young boys playing hockey further down the lake. The youths  were Dave Burghardt, age 12; Chad Burghardt, age 14; Riley Bilous, age 15; Colon Schroeder, age 15. When alerted to the emergency, the boys immediately responded to the male and laid flat on the ground, extending a hockey stick. When this didn’t work Elaine also attended and had the boys tie the dog leash to the hockey stick.

Attempts again failed as the male would only break further thin ice.

Brent Moen, who was driving by, observed what was going on and was able to retrieve a larger stick and joined in on the rescue. This time the victim was able to hold on and the team was able to pull the victim out of the water.

Windermere Fire and Rescue attended and they reported that the area the rescuers went to was very thin and exposed the rescuers to a great deal of danger of themselves falling through. The victim was provided warm clothing by the rescuers and taken to Invermere Hospital by ambulance.

Good team work saved a life.

I normally leave names out, but in this instance I believe recognition of the action taken by the above people is deserving. The detachment will research proper recognition.


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