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

VIDEO: Leaf Compassion celebrates legalization in Courtenay

Leaf Compassion in Courtenay celebrated the official legalization of marijuana in Courtenay… Continue reading

Man injured in Vancouver Island racetrack accident meets, holds son for first time

Kayden was born the day after Jonathan was crushed by car at speedway

SD 71 school trustee candidates answer questions on sexual identity issue

The four unacclaimed SD 71 candidates were asked their stance the SOGI issue

Courtenay candidates have their say

The 16 people running for Courtenay council gathered Tuesday evening at an… Continue reading

Comox Valley Regional District candidates address agricultural issues

Mid-Island Farmers’ Institute hosts all-candidates meeting

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Britain, EU decide to take some time in getting Brexit right

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “we need much time, much more time and we continue to work in the next weeks.”

Parole denied for convicted killer-rapist Paul Bernardo after 25 years in prison

Paul Bernardo plead for release on Wednesday by arguing he has done what he could to improve himself during his 25 years in prison.

Smooth start to legal cannabis in B.C., Mike Farnworth says

Online and government store makes 4,000 sales by noon

Commercial diver drowns in Hecate Strait

WorkSafeBC and BC Coroners Service are investigating the diving incident south of Dewdney Island

Conservation officers investigate four elk shot and abandoned on Vancouver Island

Leaving harvestable game meat in the field is a punishable offence

Most Read