CFVSAR is Recruiting

CFVSAR will be holding a recruiting information open house on Tuesday, January 10th, 2017.  Please see the recruiting link for more information


Tragic end to Golden Ears Park search


A 39-year-old man who walked away from his camp on New Year’s Day has been found dead in B.C.’s Alouette Lake.

Search and rescue crews spent Jan. 1 looking for a missing camper last seen early Friday when he left family and friends at Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, B.C.

The missing man’s fully-clothed body was spotted around 10 a.m. PT Saturday morning by a rescue worker.

Search and rescue officials said the 39-year-old father was last seen when he walked away from the camp site at about 2:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day to set off fireworks on the beach.

His body was found in the water, and unlit fireworks were found onshore, Rick Laing of Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue told CBC News.

“It’s unclear what happened or why he was in the water,” Laing said.

The father had been celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends and family.

Ridge Meadows RCMP say the B.C. Coroners Service has been called and will take over the investigation. Police say there are no signs of foul play.

A canine unit and a boat were called to aid in the search, and crews focused their efforts along the shoreline of Alouette Lake.

Golden Ears Provincial Park is about 50 kilometres east of Vancouver.

Article from CBC News



Six rescued from stranded SUVs on snowy Sumas Mountain


Sumas Mt. rescue

By Wendy McLellan, THE PROVINCE DECEMBER 29, 2015

A late afternoon of 4×4 driving on snowy Sumas Mountain ended with six people stranded for hours in freezing temperatures and an early-morning rescue Tuesday by local volunteers.

Lee Holeczek, search manager with Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue, said a couple in their 20s drove a Jeep 4×4 up a logging road on Abbotsford’s Sumas Mountain in the late afternoon Monday, planning to play in the snow.

But just before they reached the top, their vehicle got stuck.

It was just after dark, and after several attempts to free the Jeep from the snow, the couple hiked to a spot where they could get cellphone reception and called friends to help.

Holeczek said four would-be rescuers in another 4×4 tried to reach the stranded vehicle, but got stuck 1.5 kilometres below the Jeep.

The four friends hiked the rest of the way and the group tried to pull the vehicle out of the snow, but it was stuck fast.

“They even had a winch, but it burned out,” Holeczek said.

“They all toughed it out for a while, but they realized they weren’t prepared to stay out overnight.”

At 2 a.m. the Abbotsford-based search and rescue team got the call to help the six friends, and 18 volunteers headed to Sumas Mountain in 4x4s with tire chains on snow tires. Mission’s SAR also sent out their all-terrain vehicle equipped with snow tracks.

“We were pretty sure they were on the logging road — we just had to get to the location,” Holeczek said.

The team made it to the first stuck vehicle at 3:30 a.m. and found three people inside. The 4×4 was blocking the road, so the SAR team strapped on snowshoes to hike up to the Jeep where three more people were hunkered down inside.

“They were cold, tired and hungry,” Holeczek said. “It was the first time they had experienced something like this. They were scared.”

The team used the all-terrain vehicle to get the shivering sextet down the logging road to the SAR vehicles, and the group was back at the base at 6 a.m. The two 4x4s were left behind and would need tow trucks to get off the mountain, he said.

BY Wendy McLellan, THE PROVINCE DECEMBER 29, 2015



Abbotsford Air Show Booth

Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue will be hosting a booth at the Abbotsford International Air Show, August 8-9, 2015.  Come, stop by!


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Kayakers Rescued after getting Stranded overnight.

Central Fraser Valley and Mission Search and Rescue were called out at around 9:45 p.m. Sunday February 6th after Mission RCMP got a call about three kayakers who were trapped at Norrish Creek. Rescue teams were not able to cross the creek because of the swift moving current, width and the darkness. The access to the creek from both sides was very steep and rough terrain. They were rescued in the morning once daylight make it possible for a helicopter rescue. The kayakers who were from Kamloops were experienced and well-prepared, built a campfire and camped out for the night. They were warm and in good shape and didn’t need medical attention.


CFVSAR is looking for new members!

Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue is looking for new volunteers to take our Ground Search and Rescue training class scheduled to start in January 2011. We will be holding an information session that is open to everyone interested in joining that will be held on Tuesday, October 19 19:00 at CFVSAR’s Base located at 1594 Riverside Rd. Abbotsford. If you think you have what it takes to become a volunteer member of the team please attend this session and check out our recruiting page on our website.


Water Safety Tips from the BC Coroner’s Service

SPLASH INTO SUMMER SAFELY: TIPS FOR WATER ACTIVITIES VANCOUVER – With temperatures soaring across the province, the B.C. Coroner’s Service is cautioning British Columbians who are heading to lakes and rivers to be careful when participating in water-related recreation. While data for this year is still unavailable, last year in B.C., 66 people lost their lives as a result of activities in and around water, with males accounting for 86 per cent of those deaths. The most common cause of water-related deaths in 2009 was drowning, at 69 per cent. A large proportion of the deaths, a total of 28, occurred in July and August. Of those, 19 fatalities – or 68 per cent – were the result of drowning during activities such as swimming, power boating, diving and white-water rafting, among others. Most deaths occurred in the Island region (23 deaths or 35 per cent) and the Interior region (22 deaths or 33 per cent). These statistics do not include deaths resulting from motor vehicle or aircraft crashes into water, or other non-water-related issues while on watercraft. The Canadian Red Cross offers the following safety tips to prevent water related injuries and deaths: · When boating, ensure everyone in the boat has their properly fitted lifejacket on and fastened. · Do not consume alcohol before or during swimming or boating activities. · Be cautious about swimming in currents, and know what to do if you get into trouble. · Get trained through swimming and water safety lessons. Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card if you operate a boat. Know how to respond in an emergency by taking first-aid lessons. · Ensure children are supervised, whether at home or on vacation. Adult supervision is the best protection for children – even for those who can swim. · Ensure that your backyard pool is fully fenced with a self-closing, self-latching gate. · When not using your home pool, clear all toys out of the water and away from the edge. These can often tempt children to the water’s edge. · Ensure you have emergency equipment including a first aid kit and a phone in the immediate pool area.


Special Public Avalanche Warning

The following is a Special Public Avalanche Warning from the Canadian Avalanche Centre SPAW January 14, 2010 What’s the problem? We’re waiting for the freeze and it’s not coming There is a main persistent weak layer and a couple of secondary ones with more loading expected. Cooler weather will greatly improve this situation but the forecast is not promising Warm temperatures, rain at low elevations, heavy snow at higher elevations, and strong winds is producing cycles of avalanche activity involving both the old, deeply buried weak layers and storm snow layers. Snow and wind are expected to slow down or stop during the weekend but warm temperatures are forecast to continue. Things are not expected to improve significantly until sometime next week after several days of cooler weather. Even though fewer avalanches are occurring, those that are being triggered are larger and more destructive. This is a common recipe for avalanche fatalities: downward trending avalanche activity with upward trending consequences. Where is the problem most pronounced? The magnitude of the problem does not decrease at lower elevations as it often does: although the root causes are different, significant hazard exists at Treeline and Below Treeline as well as in Alpine elevations. All aspects. The Northern Rocky Mountains, the Cariboo Mountains, the eastern Monashee Mountains, the Selkirk Mountains, and the Purcell Mountains. This includes riding areas accessed from and around: Tumbler Ridge Grande Prairie Prince George Grande Cache Dawson Creek/Ft. St. John Revelstoke Golden McBride Valemount Blue River Wells Williams Lake Clearwater Invermere Nakusp New Denver Kaslo How to manage risk: Check the CAC forecasts at for the most current and up to date information to help you plan your trip. Wait until several days of cool weather have stabilized the snowpack. Increase your margins of safety even if you do not observe any avalanche activity. Travel Recommendations: Stick to flat terrain not threatened from above One at a time when crossing avalanche paths. Regroup in heavy timber or in obvious non-avalanche terrain Boondocking in very low angle terrain with no large open slopes above. Highmarking is not recommended.


Missing Teen Rescued on Sumas Mountain

Full story available at Abbotsford news CFVSAR was assisted at the scene by the Mission and Chilliwack search and rescue groups. In all, about 25 members were involved. Sebastian was on a school hike with five other students, a teacher and two teaching assistants along the old Centennial Trail. He was in the middle of the group on the way back and out of sight from the others, when he took a wrong turn. Dave Stephen, communications manager with the Abbotsford school district, said it appears that Sebastian followed the other trail, got disoriented, went towards a creek and ended up in a ravine. He likely suffered a fall along the way. The teen was noticed missing when he didn’t report back to the trailhead. His group tried to find him, and then notified Abbotsford Police when they couldn’t. Holeczek said one of the challenges for the rescuers was the embankment was rugged and steep, with a vertical slope in some spots. Another challenge was that Sebastian was found on the other side of Wade’s Creek, which is knee-deep, fast-moving, filled with boulders, and about 15 metres wide. Laura and Robert Barrette, parents of Sebastian, the missing 14 year-old Bakerview Learning Centre student, wait to see their son just moments after he was wheeled out of the forest just after 10 p.m. Thursday. Holeczek said it’s likely the boy slipped into the creek and was swept across to the other side. The roar of the water would have muffled any cries for help.


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Contact Us

  • Central Fraser Valley
    Search and Rescue Society
    1594 Riverside Road,
    BC, V2S 8J2,
  • Tel: 604-852-7271

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