Fraser Valley is a slice of the Fraser River basin in southwestern British Columbia, down river of the Fraser Canyon. It’s a prime angling location with fisherman from the U.S. and Canada traveling there every year to catch salmon and sturgeon either from a boat or along the river’s edge. It turns out both locales put fisherman at risk, and even though there are plenty of BASE jumpers, kayakers, mountain climbers and other extremists in the Pacific northwest area, it’s really fishing that’s caused the most deaths, as reported by the Vancouver Sun. Safety equipment, or lack-thereof, plus the extreme changes in weather, are the primary culprits. Two such tragedies in the region this year highlight what can happen when you don’t respect the river and fail to wear a life jacket.
Andrew Conlon, a former angling manager, is described by those who know him as an “old school fisherman,” according to Scotsman.com. His body, however, was found in the Gladhouse Reservoir after he and a friend, David Archibald, capsized their boat on a fishing trip and weren’t wearing life preservers. Christopher Vang was a 24-year-old fisherman that fell into the river after slipping trying to help a friend. He too was not wearing a life jacket when he fell in. One man was an experienced angler and the other was actually fishing from the shore, so a life jacket wasn’t on anyone’s mind.
Adrenalists risk death all the time, but sometimes it’s the most innocuous adventures that claim our loved ones. Vang’s family has set up the Christopher Vang Fund to help educate the public on proper safety requirements and raise money for more awareness of what can happen when you forget the danger of the Fraser River.