Pair rescued from North Thompson River near Barriere

By James Peters
October 23, 2017 - 3:11pm Updated: October 23, 2017 - 5:32pm

BARRIERE, B.C. — Two boaters were rescued from the North Thompson River near Barriere last night.

Volunteer Search Manager Alan Hobler of Kamloops Search and Rescue says a passing motorist spotted the boaters in distress and called the authorities.

Hobler says drones were invaluable in completing the task and keeping searchers safe.

"It was pitch black. We could barely see the hands in front of our faces," said Hobler. "We deployed the drone team with infrared cameras on them. They were able to locate the boat with the two people on it, and the drones were also able to help us identify a safe access route."

Hobler says drones aren't only helpful for finding missing people.

"They're also protecting the safety of our searchers. We didn't have to put anybody in the water until we found the best route to access the boat by using the drones," said Hobler.

It's unusual for river rescues to be required at this time of year, and Hobler says the season likely contributed to the boaters' predicament.

"The river is really low right now, and that's probably what contributed to these people getting stuck out there," said Hobler.

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