Two young girls who were caught on debris in the fast-moving Tsolum River were rescued safely Thursday afternoon near the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds.
Courtenay fire chief Don Bardonnex told media the two youth were upstream when their boots filled with water and the current took them away.
“One was on the log, and one stuck on a bush in the water,” he said. “(It was) very fast moving water, quite a dangerous situation for the girls.”
The Courtenay Fire Department and members of the Comox Valley RCMP first attended the scene and Bardonnex noted they got the girls calmed down, got them to follow instructions, gave them life jackets and secured them to shore.
“The biggest hazard with fast-moving water isn’t that you’re going to get blown down river, it’s that you’re going to get blown down river and under something and hit a log, the current will pull you under.”
Paul Berry, search manager and president of the Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue who also attended the scene, added they are prepared for the summer months and increased activity around the water.
“This is the type of call we have been preparing for. Summer’s coming, kids are going to be in the water, water levels are higher than normal with all of the rainfall and there’s a lot of extra debris,” he explained to media.
“Kids are off, they’re looking for adventure, and we’re glad they got out of the water safely.”