A woman who spent the night on the shore of the Chehalis River in Chilliwack said the ordeal was the “scariest thing ever.”

Sherry Thompson, 43, said she didn’t sleep on Saturday night and spent the time praying to be found.
“I could hear the search and rescue helicopter but they couldn’t find me,” Thompson said. “I thought at least they’re looking for me.”

Thompson went missing from her campsite after getting on an air mattress and floating down the Chehalis on Saturday.

RCMP Const. Mark Pelz initially told reporters Thompson got on the mattress late at night and that alcohol was a factor, a claim the mother of three denies.

Thompson admits she had been drinking the night before but not that morning. And she says she got on the air mattress at 11:30 a.m., not late at night.

She floated for about 1.5 hours before the mattress developed a leak. Thompson then decided to walk back through the woods, which was difficult because of a previous ankle surgery.

“It was the scariest thing. An animal came and rubbed against my back but I was too scared to look,” said Thompson.

She found her way out the following morning and made her way to a nearby lodge where she met search and rescue officers.

“They put such a negative spin to it. The whole thing is about surviving and not giving up,” said Thompson.

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