Two missing after raft swept over falls

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
July 29th, 2012

One person is dead and two more are missing after the raft they were floating in went over Cascade Falls near Christina Lake Saturday afternoon.

There were four people in the raft on the Kettle River when they neared the falls and attempted to reach shore. A 16-year-old boy jumped from the raft and was able to swim to the edge.

The other three, a couple in their sixties and a man, about 40, were unable to break out of the current and went over the falls about 30 metres (100 feet) high with extremely jagged rocks.

One body was recovered just below the falls at Cascade cove, but the other two remain missing.

Witnesses said they saw people scrambling at the top of the falls attempting to help the rafters, who then phoned in the emergency immediately. Other witnesses recalled hearing a blood curdling scream from the top of the falls when the raft shot over the rocks.

The Christina Lake Fire Department have their teams posted on the gorge, the trail trestles all along the river including the one just before the border, the bridge along the highway and at the cove, explained Christina Lake fire chief Ken Gresley-Jones.

The Grand Forks Fire and Rescue have been assisting in the search, and the RCMP has taken the lead on the investigation.

“That’s pretty much all we can do,” said Gresley-Jones. “We have to wait for people to show up.”

The United States Border Patrol, the Ferry and Stevens County sheriffs and Orient fire rescue have all been notified to watch for the rafters.

The teams have been asked to remain on the watch until nightfall.

“From experience, if people are caught in the falls it could be a couple of days, that’s just the way it is,” Gresley-Jones added.

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Categories: CrimeGeneral