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Boaters who evacuated people during flooding make donation to Hope Search and Rescue

Vic Carrao and Jesse Judd shuttled people and supplies in and out of Hope over two chaotic days
Left to right: Derek Judd, Vic Carrao, Jesse Judd and Renee Coghill (Hope SAR). While Vic and Jesse shuttled people and supplies back and forth from Hope, Derek organized people on shore so when the boat arrived it could be loaded and unloaded as fast as possible. (Facebook photo)

For days during the height of last month’s flooding, Vic Carrao and Jesse Judd helped evacuate people who were stranded in Hope. Now that the flooding has subsided and life is slowly returning to normal, they’re still doing good.

Carrao and Judd have donated $1,000 to Hope Search and Rescue, out of appreciation for what they do 12 months a year.

The donation comes from a GoFundMe that was set up to help Carrao and Judd pay for expenses (see fuel) as they shuttled people and supplies from Hope.

“Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 15 and 16) we moved 69 people out of Hope down to Kilby Park, and hauled supplies and people back up to Hope,” Carrao said. “I think the total was about 85 people shuttled in two days.”

A little more than $3,000 was raised through the GoFundMe, and Carrao said their fuel bill over those two days was in the range of $1,800 to $1,900. After talking it over with Judd, the decision was made to forward the surplus to Renee Coghill and Hope SAR.

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“Hope Search & Rescue would like to thank Jesse Judd and Vic Carrao for graciously donating $1000 to our team!” the organization said in a post on its Facebook page. “This money was from donations they were given for using their boat and time to help transport families and food to and from Hope on the Fraser River during the flood emergency. Thank you so much guys! This money will be utilized to help purchase much needed gear for our team!”

Carrao traveled a ways to help during the flooding. Retiring from a 25-year guiding career last season and selling Mission-based STS Guiding Service, he moved to Parksville on Vancouver Island. His phone started blowing up the first day of the flooding (Nov. 15), and he took a ferry to the Mainland. Carrao contacted Judd (STS Guiding Service and West Coast Jet Boat Adventures) to see if he could borrow the twin-engine jet boat he sold him last year.

“He is family, so I already knew what the answer would be,” Carrao said. “But Jesse not only gave me the boat to use, he also called his boss and booked the rest of the week off to help me.”

When he owned STS Guiding, Carrao said the community of Hope was very supportive, and when the town needed help he was happy to answer the call.

“It was great to be able to help, because Hope has been an important part of our business for the past 15 years,” he said. “Hope Tourism/Brian Mckinney, Blue Moose and the entire community has supported us for many years. It was an opportunity to give back.

“After those two days it felt weird coming back to the Island, so I came back and started doing river cleanup in Mission. I spent a total of 10 days down at coast helping out where I could.”


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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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