Kitimat RCMP and Search and Rescue jumped into action when an abandoned kayak was found on the River last Friday afternoon, and the owner was soon located, safe and sound. While the Kitimat River may look calm, it can be rough with currents, logjams, and stormy or rainy weather. Those on the river are reminded to wear a lifejacket or PFD, and to always have a safety plan prepared. (Misty Johnsen)

Search and Rescue and RCMP investigate after abandoned kayak found on Kitimat River

KSAR and Kitimat RCMP confirmed the owner lost the recently-discovered kayak a couple of weeks ago.

Kitimat Search and Rescue (KSAR) and Kitimat RCMP are thanking the public for their help after an abandoned kayak found its owner after being spotted on the Kitimat River last Friday afternoon.

Kitimat RCMP posted on Facebook about the kayak, which was located on the Kitimat River above Hirsch Creek, near Cable Car, and asked community members to check in with anyone they knew who might have been kayaking on the river that day.

“If you know anyone who was kayaking the rivers in that area today, please make attempts to contact them,” Kitimat RCMP wrote in a post. “If you are unsuccessful in contacting someone who you believe was kayaking in the area today, please contact that Kitimat RCMP.”

On Saturday, KSAR put out a statement, saying that they were called in to help after RCMP found the kayak.

“In the late afternoon of July 10, 2020, Kitimat SAR was called by the RCMP regarding a unoccupied kayak spotted in some logs on the Kitimat River just below [Cable Car],” the KSAR statement read. “Kitimat SAR responded with six members. Three KSAR members flew the Kitimat River by helicopter in an attempt to spot anyone. Two KSAR members accompanied two members of the Kitimat Hatchery Staff on their jet boat and travelled to the scene and searched as far upstream as the Wedeene River.”

KSAR said they stopped searching at 7:20 p.m. on Friday, after being unsuccessful in their search. However, the RCMP later received a call from the kayak’s owner, who had seen posts on social media about the abandoned kayak.

“He told [Kitimat RCMP that] about 2 weeks ago he and two buddies were kayaking the river and he flipped the kayak and it ended up going under a log jam,” KSAR wrote.

READ MORE: New Kitimat River Safety Initiatives brought about for fishermen in wake of drownings

KSAR would like to thank the Kitimat Hatchery Staff for their help on the water, and the public for their help in spreading the posts to find the owner.

KSAR and RCMP would also like to remind people to make safety a priority and always wear a lifejacket or PFD when out on the river.

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