A group of biologists suited up on the frigid shores of the Nechako River this week, and another will take the icy plunge again next week, to learn rescue techniques from Dean Price and Lauren Phillips of OVERhang, two Rescue Canada instructors based in Prince George.
"These folks do a lot of water sampling on a variety of bodies of water, in all seasons," said Phillips, herself a forestry professional.
The students were all taught ways to recognize hazards, the equipment to have along when working with water, the techniques to use that equipment, ways to prevent falls into moving or still winter water, how to self-rescue if you do fall in, and how to rescue a second party.
Adding to the dynamic of this week's work was one student with a hearing disability. A sign language interpreter was in attendance at all times and clear communication became critical. Phillips said it was an enhancing feature because it forced them, as instructors, to express themselves as well as possible, to the benefit of all the students.