New book tells story of survival

A floatplane crashed at Tobe Lake in the summer of 1997, and of the four men on board only one survived

Editor, The Times:

A floatplane crashed at Tobe Lake in the summer of 1997, and of the four men on board only one survived — thanks to quick action by camp owners at Lac Des Roches and the BC Ambulance team out of Clearwater. I have just completed a 70,000-word book based on the incident.

In essence, it is a coming of age story about the survivor, Michael Schneider, then 29, of Prince George. It is also a coming of age story about his parents, both of whom were children in war-devastated Germany, both of whom survived their own “plane crashes” during and after the war, married, came to B.C. and prospered.

The story has a happy ending: young Michael has become a highly regarded cabinet maker, husband and father of two boys. They live in Kelowna.

The book begins in Clearwater, goes back in time to Germany in the 1940s, comes forward to the crash at Tobe Lake in 1997, and ends in the present at Kelowna. I interviewed several Clearwater people of that time, and they are mentioned: Robin Mann, Bruce Whitelaw, Catherine Buis, Warren Chayer, and RCMP officers Bryon Hodgkin and Jon Stuart. (Warren is mentioned, wasn’t interviewed.) I know Bryon has since retired, and I’m sure Jon Stuart has rotated.

When I started working on this in 2010, the folks in your office were very helpful in digging up clippings and photos. Please give them my kind regards and thank you.

I am just now starting the rounds with agents and publishers. If you would like to have a look at the manuscript, let me know and I’ll send an email copy. If you would like to excerpt anything for the North Thompson Times, please feel free. The title of the book is “Element of Survival.”

If you would like to chat about it, let me know and I’ll call you.

(My father was a printer for a small-town newspaper in Pennsylvania, so I know how busy you are.)

Chuck Boyer


Phillips, Maine



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