Search and rescue death blamed on poor planning

A WorkSafeBC report finds poor planning and inadequate equipment are to blame for the death of a search and rescue volunteer in 2011.

Sheila Sweatman died trying to recover body from B.C.'s Goat River

Sheilah Sweatman's body is recovered from the Goat River. (CBC)

A WorkSafeBC report finds poor planning and inadequate equipment are to blame for the death of a search and rescue volunteer in 2011.

Sheilah Sweatman, 29, drowned in the Goat River while trying to recover the body of a woman believed to have drowned in her vehicle.

The report finds Sweatman got caught up in a steel cable and was dragged underwater.

"They talk about a failure to plan properly, a failure to have the right equipment — and the principle of search and rescue is that you have a way to self rescue," said Sheila’s father Wynn Sweatman.

"If you become trapped in steel cables there is no way to self rescue."

Sheilah Sweatman, 29, of Manitoba, died during a rescue in 2011.

Sweatman says he doesn't blame anyone specifically for his daughter's death, but he wants all the facts to come out — and for search and rescue to be better funded.

An inquest into Sweatman’s death is scheduled to begin next week in Nelson.