VIDEO: Okanagan men brave icy waters to save drowning deer

Men from Okanagan Pile Driving, Mike V’s Automotive and BC Hydro made the rescue possible

A group of Okanagan men jumped into action this week to ensure a deer didn’t meet her demise in the icy waters of Okanagan Lake.

The deer had crossed the ice at the north end of Okanagan Lake, just north of Parkers Cove off Westside Road, when it slipped through.

The flailing deer caught the attention of two BC Hydro staff members who went to look for help.

Chris Burton was working with his crew at Okanagan Pile Driving on Feb. 26 at about 1 p.m. when the two men from BC Hydro showed up and caught their attention.

“They saw us working on the barges and flagged us down,” explained Burton. “They had spotted the deer and decided to grab us. They said it had fallen through the ice and could not get out.”

Burton and his team jumped into action taking a metal-hull boat and a barge over to rescue the small deer.

“My guys were in the boat and I was on the flat-deck barge. They came up on her and she was in the water, splashing around,” explained Burton.

“As they were getting closer she looked to be giving up and her head was slipping underneath. Mike Vasconcelos, from Mike V’s Automotive, was in the boat with Mark David and they pulled her into the boat. It was really cold water, they just put their hands in and pulled her in.”

With the deer safely in the boat, they needed to get it to shore to warm up. Burton jumped into action with Kevin Morris and used the barge to break up the ice and allow the metal boat to get close to shore.

“We were able to get the deer out and up on shore and we basically just tried to warm it up. The BC Hydro guys were able to get down to us with blankets, so we wrapped it in blankets,” said Burton.

“It was in pretty rough shape. We left it alone for a while and then we came back and checked on it. She was up and walking around like nothing had happened.”

He is glad the team from BC Hydro, Ken Findlayson and Rob Asplin, saw the deer and made the rescue possible.

“To be honest, I thought we weren’t going to get there in time. So, it was nice to see we were able to still save her.”

While it’s unclear why the deer attempted to cross the thin ice, Burton said they noticed some possible coyote tracks nearby and wonder if the deer was running from a predator.

“Either she was really thirsty and trying to get water or she was chased,” added Burton.

All in, he said it was a special moment on a Monday afternoon that made the day seem a little brighter.

“It was pretty cool to watch. Everyone pitched in and got her out of the lake. Even afterwards, Mike sat with her in the snow with the blankets and tried to warm her up. It was pretty cool,” said Burton.

“There was no hesitation, it was just let’s go get this done.

“You hear everything that is going on in the world, and then something small like that can make everyone feel pretty good you know?”

Related: B.C.’s own hammock deer garners celebrity status

Related: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

Related: Vancouver Island sheep gets loose and rams children

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.


@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Power of plants comes to Penticton – Okanagan Health Forum

The power of plants will be the focus of Sunday’s Okanagan Health Forum at the Shatford Centre

Competition hot for mayor’s chair

Penticton voters have lots of choice in municipal election

Penticton Vees celebrating those who help others

The Vees are honouring charitable organizations during the regular season to the tune of $28,000

Summerland Steam focus on their game

The Steam have lost their two home games this season, but have won their two road games

Cram the RCMP cruiser for the Penticton food bank

RCMP cruisers will be at the Real Canadian Superstore parking lot

Store recognized for inclusive employment efforts

Shoppers Drug Mart in Summerland presented with certificate from WorkBC

Who’s running in Penticton’s election?

Candidates for the Penticton municipal and school board election

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read