Two rescued after hours on Vancouver Lake

By Bob Albrecht, Columbian Staff Reporter

Published:

Updated: May 31, 2011, 9:30 PM

 

A man and woman lost on Vancouver Lake spent about seven hours on the water Monday before being rescued by firefighters.

The pair set out on the lake at about 5 p.m. Memorial Day aboard an inflatable raft, said firefighter-paramedic Kevin Stromberg of the Vancouver Fire Department.

As it grew darker, Stromberg said the man and woman became “disoriented and lost.” Eventually, they made it to what they thought was a shore and left their raft behind. The pair quickly happened upon more water, the result of overflow from the Columbia River, Stromberg said. On Monday, the river’s level was above 17 feet, more than a foot into the 16-foot flood stage.

The department’s heavy rescue truck was dispatched at about 11 p.m. Members of the technical rescue unit set out in a raft to find the man and woman. They used “pings” from the couple’s cell phone to determine their location. At about midnight, the man and woman were retrieved and taken to shore.

“Other than spending the long night on the lake and being a little cold, they weren’t hurt and they weren’t transported to the hospital,” Stromberg said.