People stand on the other side of a flooded section of road in front of the Pathfinder RV Park sign in the rain.

Photo Credit: Michael Briones / Parksville Qualicum Beach News

Arrowsmith Search & Rescue Save the Day Again

Twenty-three ASAR members braved the floods to help folks who were stranded in Parksville

When the going gets tough, the tough put on their hip waders

Port Alberni didn’t get the same record-breaking rain that they got on the South Island. The highways were okay. The houses weren’t flooding. Volunteers with the Arrowsmith Search and Rescue (ASAR) could have stayed home.

But instead, 23 ASAR members got their gear and headed to Parksville to rescue their neighbours.

The Regional District of Nanaimo called on ASAR to help evacuate people in the Martindale Road area. Ken Neden, a search manager with ASAR, spoke with CHEK News.

“Because of the heavy rains over the last few days and the incoming high tide scheduled for 3 p.m. today, the Englishman river breached and was flooding,” he said. “Evacuation was necessary.”

They rescued 11 people (and a couple of dogs) stranded because the area was completely flooded.

They called in Sunwest Helicopter to help because the water was so high and the current was too strong.

Michael Briones, a news reporter and photographer in the Parksville area, caught some of the rescue mission on camera.

According to their Facebook page, ASAR got a little mutual aid from the Parksville Fire Department after they’d finished up. The Fire Department hosed down each of the volunteers to decontaminate their gear.

ASAR also gave a big shoutout to Cloverdale Paint. The folks at the paint store offered up their washroom and hot coffee to support the crew.

Now might be a good time to buy a 50/50 ticket for the ASAR fundraiser. You can buy your tickets until December 25th at

You never know when ASAR might be coming to your rescue, even if you don’t live in Port Alberni!