B.C. search volunteer drowns near Creston

A volunteer search and rescue technician has drowned in the Goat River, south of Creston, B.C., RCMP say.

A volunteer search and rescue technician drowned in the Goat River, south of Creston, B.C., on Wednesday, RCMP say.

The search and rescue team member fell overboard into fast-moving water and disappeared while the team was examining a vehicle submerged in the river, police said.

"At about 4:15 p.m. during the course of their search efforts, utilizing swift-water line equipment and a swift-water craft, one of the search and rescue members went overboard into the river and did not surface," the RCMP said in a release. "Efforts to locate and rescue this person were not successful."

The search and rescue team had responded to a report of a vehicle going off the road and into the Goat River just off Highway 21, south of Creston.

The Creston RCMP are notifying next of kin and have not identified the deceased volunteer.

"Our condolences and thoughts are with the family involved as well as with our many B.C. volunteer search and rescue team members," Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said.

Moskaluk said search and rescue crews now have the job of retrieving one of their own volunteers, as well as the submerged vehicle.

"The search and rescue technicians are in the water again," he said. "First, the ... recovery of their co-worker, and once that is completed, looking at that vehicle to determine if there is an occupant or occupants in it."

Colin Wiebe with the B.C. Search and Rescue Association said the crews throughout the province are in mourning.

"As anyone would feel when they lose a family member — the [search and rescue] world is pretty tight and we're well connected with everybody. It's a big loss."