VIDEO: B.C. men brave icy waters to save drowning deer

Men from Okanagan Pile Driving, Mike V’s Automotive and BC Hydro made the rescue possible

A group of Okanagan men jumped into action this week to ensure a deer didn’t meet her demise in the icy waters of Okanagan Lake.

The deer had crossed the ice at the north end of Okanagan Lake, just north of Parkers Cove off Westside Road, when it slipped through.

The flailing deer caught the attention of two BC Hydro staff members who went to look for help.

Chris Burton was working with his crew at Okanagan Pile Driving on Feb. 26 at about 1 p.m. when the two men from BC Hydro showed up and caught their attention.

“They saw us working on the barges and flagged us down,” explained Burton. “They had spotted the deer and decided to grab us. They said it had fallen through the ice and could not get out.”

Burton and his team jumped into action taking a metal-hull boat and a barge over to rescue the small deer.

“My guys were in the boat and I was on the flat-deck barge. They came up on her and she was in the water, splashing around,” explained Burton.

“As they were getting closer she looked to be giving up and her head was slipping underneath. Mike Vasconcelos, from Mike V’s Automotive, was in the boat with Mark David and they pulled her into the boat. It was really cold water, they just put their hands in and pulled her in.”

With the deer safely in the boat, they needed to get it to shore to warm up. Burton jumped into action with Kevin Morris and used the barge to break up the ice and allow the metal boat to get close to shore.

“We were able to get the deer out and up on shore and we basically just tried to warm it up. The BC Hydro guys were able to get down to us with blankets, so we wrapped it in blankets,” said Burton.

“It was in pretty rough shape. We left it alone for a while and then we came back and checked on it. She was up and walking around like nothing had happened.”

He is glad the team from BC Hydro, Ken Findlayson and Rob Asplin, saw the deer and made the rescue possible.

“To be honest, I thought we weren’t going to get there in time. So, it was nice to see we were able to still save her.”

While it’s unclear why the deer attempted to cross the thin ice, Burton said they noticed some possible coyote tracks nearby and wonder if the deer was running from a predator.

“Either she was really thirsty and trying to get water or she was chased,” added Burton.

All in, he said it was a special moment on a Monday afternoon that made the day seem a little brighter.

“It was pretty cool to watch. Everyone pitched in and got her out of the lake. Even afterwards, Mike sat with her in the snow with the blankets and tried to warm her up. It was pretty cool,” said Burton.

“There was no hesitation, it was just let’s go get this done.

“You hear everything that is going on in the world, and then something small like that can make everyone feel pretty good you know?”

Related: B.C.’s own hammock deer garners celebrity status

Related: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

Related: Vancouver Island sheep gets loose and rams children

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.


@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Island Health announces addition of 38 beds for seniors care in the Comox Valley

17 beds at Comox Valley hospital; 21 beds at St. Joe’s

VIDEO: North Island Hospital heliport flight testing

Island Health, in conjunction with Helijet, tested the heliports Tuesday as part… Continue reading

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Change of command at HMCS Quadra

Lieutenant Colonel (Lt.-Col.) Allan Dengis assumed command of HMCS Quadra in a… Continue reading

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Courtenay council considers tax exemption bylaw

Proposal intends to stimulate downtown development

Group urges Canada to help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany

They’re concerned about Canada’s apparent unwillingness to come to the aid of Monika Schaefer

RCMP seek person of interest after elderly man left with ‘life altering’ injuries

Burnaby RCMP believe a male teen is a ‘person of interest’ in the case

MGM sues Vegas mass shooting victims, argues it isn’t liable

The company argues it has “no liability of any kind” to survivors or families of slain victims

Vancouver police propose policy for victims, witnesses who are undocumented immigrants

If approved, officers will not ask about an immigration status, unless needed

Crashes reach ‘all-time high’ across B.C.: ICBC

Auto insurer recorded more than 350,000 crashes in 2017

Pressure on for ride hailing, bus options in B.C.

Premiers to press Ottawa for help replacing Greyhound service

Most Read