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Pair survives going over waterfall in Golden Ears Park

Maple Ridge first responders rescue injured man, woman made it to shore
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Rescue crews in Gold Creek. (The News files)

Two people survived being swept over the Gold Creek Falls in Golden Ears Provincial Park on Saturday.

First responders said the pair were injured, but fortunate to have survived.

The News has reported on four deaths resulting from people going over the falls since 2013, and other incidents where people have been seriously injured, or needed to be rescued.

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue was called to save one of the victims on Saturday, explained deputy chief Geoff Spriggs. After going over the falls, the man had a damaged knee, in addition to other injuries, and was clinging to a rock ledge. A woman who was with the injured man made it to the riverbank.

The call came in just before 6 p.m.. Firefighters, who are trained in swift water rescue, used an inflatable rapid deployment craft to bring the man to shore. Both victims were injured in the ordeal, including significant injuries, and were taken to the parking lot at the head of the Lower Falls trail, where an ambulance was waiting.

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Spriggs warned the public against going into the river above the waterfall, given the danger. Also, the remoteness of the area means they could have a significant wait before help arrives, he said.

“The best plan is to not go in the water,” advised Spriggs.

Jamie Hall, the general manager of Alouette Park Management, said there is fencing to deter people from going past the falls viewing area at the end of the Lower Falls Trail, as well as signs warning that the waterfall is dangerous.

He said the pool above the falls can appear inviting to some, but the rocks are smooth and slippery, and the water is powerful and icy cold.

He said hikers who disregard the signage and go past the fencing are taking a risk.

“Use caution when exploring around there, it’s a very dangerous place,” Hall said. “One slip and you could be in a lot of trouble.”

“It is great news they both survived,” he added.

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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