Clallam: Joyce scouts rescue couple from British Columbia river

JOYCE — For the second time in a year, Boy Scout Joseph Kubalek is a hero.

Last year, he rescued a woman who fell into Lake Crescent.

Last week, he and scout Robert Grooms pulled a Calgary, Alberta, man out of a raging British Columbia river after his canoe flipped.

The man had been in the frigid water of the Cariboo River for more than four hours when Kubalek, 18, and Grooms, 17, reeled him into their canoe.

Kubalek and Grooms were in the lead of six canoes traveling down the Cariboo River between Isaac Lake and Lanezi Lake when they found the victim July 18.

The victim, whose name Canadian authorities did not release, was clinging to a partially submerged tree in the river.

“I thought it was a head at first, but it wasn't moving. Then I thought it was a tarp,” Kubalek said. “Then I saw a head and a leg and realized it was a person.”

The pair dug their paddles into a sandbar and turned their canoe around, getting close enough to pull the victim in at about 3:30 p.m.

He had been in the river since the canoe carrying him and his girlfriend overturned about 11 a.m.

While Grooms steered the canoe downstream without the aid of his contact lenses, Kubalek began treating the man for hypothermia, keeping him awake and raising his body temperature.

As Grooms and Kubalek were pulling the man into their canoe, six other Joyce Boy Scouts — Jaisal White, Jack Moriarty, Thomas Grooms, John Springs, David Fuchser and Greg Granum — located the victim's female companion onshore downstream and treated her for hypothermia.

The boys paddled downstream to the next campsite, Kubalek said.

Everything was too wet to build a fire, so they set up a tent with a stove inside to get the man and woman warmed up and prevent hypothermia.

“I'd never seen anyone so white in my life,” said Karen Roberts, the wife of Scoutmaster Richard Roberts.

Both of the Robertses participated in the canoe trip.

When British Columbia Parks rangers arrived, they commended the boys, Mrs. Roberts said.

Grooms and Kubalek have been nominated for the Boy Scout's Heroism Award for rescuing the man while at “extreme risk” to themselves.

Kubalek received a Heroism Award earlier this year for his Crescent Lake rescue of Betty Moffett last summer.

Earning a second would be “highly unusual,” Mrs. Roberts said.

And all eight Boy Scouts are expected to receive the Honor Medal awarded for a rescue posing “considerable risk” to a scout's life.

Full details appear in today's edition of the Peninsula News. Click onto “Subscribe” to have your PDN delivered to your home or office.

More in News

Helen and Greg Starr, executors of James Minsky’s estate, cut the ribbon for LtCol James Minsky Place on May 17 with Cheri Tinker, executive director of Sarge’s Veteran Support, right, and Sarge’s board president Lorri Gilchrist, and city council members Harmony Rutter and Rachel Anderson. The facility will permanently house six disabled and/or elderly veterans in Sequim. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Minsky Place opens to support elderly, disabled veterans

Sarge’s Veteran Support seeks five veterans for permanent housing

Public comment opens on Dabob Bay

State, county look to move lands into conservation

Clallam renews pact with investigative unit

Agencies are currently investigating shooting outside PA bank

Motrocyclist airlifted to Harborview after wreck

A San Antonio man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center… Continue reading

WomenSpirit Coalition staff members include, from left, Michelle Williams, Dee Koester, Diane Good (in back), Cheryl Neskahi Coan, Erin Lopez Neskahi and Laura Fierro. (Elijah Sussman/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
WomenSpirit Coalition steps into new phase

Multi-service indigenous support organization to host open house

Members of the Mount Olympus Detachment 897 of the Marine Corps League give a 21-gun salute at a Memorial Day ceremony at Mt. Angeles Memorial Park in Port Angeles on Monday. The ceremony was hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6787 of Carlsborg and was one of many Memorial Day events held in Clallam and Jefferson counties. (Peter Segall/Peninsula News)
Solemn ceremonies honor America's war dead

Flowers, wreaths decorate gravesites across Peninsula

Peninsula College, teachers agree on contract

Three-year deal to raise faculty salaries

Clallam County pledges $1.5 million toward preserving two farms

Commitment would provide conservation easement on properties

Cub Scout Pack 4479 laid about 200 flags on graves of veterans at the Catholic Cemetery and the front portion of Laurel Grove Cemetery in Port Townsend to honor veterans who have died. Jim Little from Troop 1479 instructed the Cub Scouts prior to dispersing them to post the colors at graves that were either marked with a star by the VFW or an inscription that indicates past military service. (Lolo Sherwood)
Honoring veterans

Cub Scout Pack 4479 laid about 200 flags on graves of veterans… Continue reading

tsr
Piping plan could be reinstated

Votes reaffirm Sequim board members

Sequim police propose updated noise control ordinance

Public hearing set June 10 at civic center

Members of the Captain Joseph House Foundation gather in October to celebrate the gifting of a Gold Star Monument marker in front of the Captain Joseph House in Port Angeles. (Courtesy photo)
Captain Joseph House to host Memorial Day ceremony

Respite home provides space for Gold Star Families