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West Kelowna emergency crews rescue teen swept through culvert

First responders rescue a person swept into a West Kelowna creek on Saturday evening. West Kelowna Fire Rescue

Fire officials in West Kelowna are urging people to stay away from fast-flowing waterways after a teenage girl had to be rescued from a local creek Saturday evening.

She was too close to the edge of Powers Creek near the 2700 block of Highway 97 and got “caught by the current and swept away,” the fire department said.

Rescue crews were called in around 8:30 p.m. by a family member who saw the teen get swept away.

Assistant fire chief Chad Gartrell said the current actually pulled her through a culvert that runs under Highway 97 and she ended up getting onto a rock in the creek to await rescue.

“The patient was very fortunate to make it through the culvert without impediment,” Gartrell said in a statement.

READ MORE: Night rescue for injured hiker on Okanagan Mountain Park

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Gartrell said getting onto a rock was the right move and teen waited there for around a half hour before rescuers retrieved her.

After first responders got the teenage girl out of the creek they used a rope rescue system to lift her up to paramedics stationed on the highway, the fire department said.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue said a rope rescue system was used to bring the person up to waiting paramedics.
West Kelowna Fire Rescue said a rope rescue system was used to bring the person up to waiting paramedics. West Kelowna Fire Rescue

She was taken to hospital to be treated for what Gartrell described as “non-life-threatening injuries.”

The incident comes as the Okanagan remains under a high streamflow advisory, meaning waterways could rise rapidly and some limited flooding could occur.

“The public is urged to stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and creeks that may cause unstable riverbanks during peak flows,” Gartrell said.

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