The danger of drunken dips

Two late-night swimmers had to be fished from the cold, swift waters in Miles Canyon early Tuesday morning. The 19-year-old woman and 20-year-old man were drinking with friends on the little peninsula at the head of the canyon.

Two late-night swimmers had to be fished from the cold, swift waters in Miles Canyon early Tuesday morning.

The 19-year-old woman and 20-year-old man were drinking with friends on the little peninsula at the head of the canyon.

Around 1:30 a.m. they decided to take a dip in the Yukon River.

“They were local people – local people who should have known better,” said RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Don Rogers.

They were quickly swept around the corner and pinned into a crevice along the canyon wall.

Had they been able to free themselves, they would have passed through the canyon and been flushed into Schwatka Lake.

But the strong current wouldn’t allow them to escape.

RCMP were called and two officers responded in the police jet boat, positioning it adjacent to the crevice where the two swimmers were trapped.

“It was difficult to maintain the position that close to the rocks without either crashing the boat or causing harm to the individuals,” said Rogers.

“So it certainly was a dangerous situation.”

The officers threw a lifeline to the man and pulled him into the boat.

However, the woman was trapped deeper within the crevice and rescuers couldn’t get the rope to her.

A member of the fire department rappelled down the canyon wall and got a rope to the woman. The rescuers in the boat then pulled her out.

The swimmers were in the water about an hour, said Rogers.

“They were definitely on the way to hypothermia; the water is still cold this time of year and an hour is certainly a long time to be in there.”

Both were taken to Whitehorse General Hospital and they were both released by 4 a.m.

One of the RCMP officers injured their leg during the rescue, but Rogers wouldn’t say how the injury occurred, or how serious it was.

“They weren’t able to work the rest of the night or the next day – so we’ll see how that goes,” he said.

“They didn’t break anything, as far as we know.”

The RCMP would like to remind citizens that swimming in swift water is always dangerous, and is not encouraged.

“And swimming while you’re intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol is just plain stupid,” said Rogers.

“You’re not just risking your own lives, but you’re risking the lives of people who have to come and rescue you.”

Contact Chris Oke at chriso@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chloe Tatsumi dismounts the balance beam to cap her routine during the Yukon Championships at the Polarettes Gymnastics Club on May 1. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Gymnasts vie in 2021 Yukon Championships

In a year without competition because of COVID-19, the Polarettes Gymnastics Club hosted its Yukon Championships.

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Yukon Budget 2.0

If the banks that finance the Yukon’s growing debt were the only… Continue reading

Yukon Supreme Court Chief Justice Suzanne Duncan dismissed an application on May 3 seeking more transparity on the territory’s state of emergency declaration. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Supreme Court rules confidential memo can’t be used in challenge of state of emergency

Court upholds cabinet confidentiality after request to use internal government memo as evidence.

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 7, 2021.… Continue reading

Yukon Zinc’s Wolverine minesite has created a mess left to taxpayers to clean up, Lewis Rifkind argues. This file shot shows the mine in 2009. (John Thompson/Yukon News file)
Editorial: The cost of the Wolverine minesite

Lewis Rifkind Special to the News The price of a decent wolverine… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: border opening and Yukon Party texts

Dear Premier Sandy Silver and Dr Hanley, Once again I’m disheartened and… Continue reading

Fire chief Jason Everett (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City launches emergency alert system

The city is calling on residents and visitors to register for Whitehorse Alert

Two young orienteers reach their first checkpoint near Shipyards Park during a Yukon Orienteering Association sprint race May 5. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Orienteers were back in action for the season’s first race

The Yukon Orienteering Association began its 2021 season with a sprint race beginning at Shipyards.

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its May 3 meeting and the upcoming 20-minute makeover.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland met with MP Larry Bagnell and representatives from the Tourism Industry Association via Zoom on May 4. (Facebook)
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland met with MP Larry Bagnell and representatives from the Tourism Industry Association via Zoom on May 4. (Facebook)
Deputy Prime Minister talks tourism in “virtual visit” to the Yukon

Tourism operators discussed the budget with Freeland

Polarity Brewing is giving people extra incentive to get their COVID vaccine by offering a ‘free beer’ within 24 hours of their first shot. John Tonin/Yukon News
Polarity Brewing giving out ‘free’ beer with first COVID vaccination

Within 24 hours of receiving your first COVID-19 vaccine, Polarity Brewing will give you a beer.

A Yukon government sign is posted to one of the trees that have been brought down for the sewer project in Riverdale explaining the project. The area is set to be revegetated with grass when it is complete. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Planned stormsewer outfall will improve drainage on Selkirk Street

Resident raises concern over clearing as council considers agreement.

Most Read