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Unmanned house boat floats along Fraser in Maple Ridge

Search and Rescue crews from Maple Ridge and Coquitlam called into action
An unmanned house boat floats down the Fraser River Monday afternoon. (Cam Girvan, Coquitlam Search and Rescue/Special to The News)

A wayward house boat along the Fraser River had search teams from Ridge Meadows and Coquitlam out on the water Monday afternoon.

Richard Moody was at home on the Katzie First Nation and was looking at the snow falling out his sliding door at about 4 p.m. on Feb. 27, when he spotted the house boat floating down the river.

“I was shocked and surprised to see that house floating down the river, I was thinking, hope no one is in there,” he said.

Rick Laing with Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue said his team was contacted by the Ridge Meadows RCMP at about 3 p.m., wondering if they would be able to check out the boat to make sure there was nobody down on the floor that required help.

So they put a crew together of about five members and also got in touch with Coquitlam Search and Rescue.

“We figured by the time we got launched it was probably going to be in their area,” explained Laing.

Both teams would eventually locate the boat at around 6:30 p.m. on the north east side of Douglas Island, just west of Barnston Island where the Fraser meets the Pitt River.

The Ridge Meadows team were able to determined there was nobody on the boat.

“The crew was able to pull right up alongside the boat and they had a good view inside,” Laing said.

Laing heard a report that someone had seen the boat moored at Kanaka Creek at some point. He figured with the high winds over the past few days, the boat broke loose from its moorings.

READ MORE: Building spotted floating past Maple Ridge

His team finished up at about 8 p.m.

Search manager with Coquitlam Search and Rescue, Ray Nordstrand, explained both teams came around Douglas Island at around the same time and came across the house boat.

Coquitlam had three people on a boat and two people on land to deal with the situation.

ALSO: Langley woman without a home after houseboat sinks during snowy weather

Nordstrand said there were no registration nor identifying markings on the boat and he noted that the house boat could have hit a pier, or a structures that are built out into the water, or even another boater.

“The main thing is make sure your unit is secured. Nobody needs to have that coming down at them at night time or something,” he said. Or a bunch of garbage going down the river either.

The search teams took pictures of the house boat and passed on the location and details to the Coast Guard.

It is unclear whether the house boat is still stranded on the shore of the island or who the house boat belongs to.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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