Chopper used to rescue missing hiker
Jul 23, 2012 / 4:08 pm
Treacherous terrain and bad weather delayed search and rescue members from finding a missing hiker over the weekend.
On Friday July 20, Police service dog teams from Lumby and Vernon SAR members were called to an area near Monashee Snowcat Lodge to look for the overdue hiker.
According to RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk, one officer and three SAR members had to return to base camp due to injury and equipment failures.
"They had inadequate rain gear and a flashlight malfunction. One of our officers sustained a strained ankle from a slip and fall."
AIR 4 was called out to conduct an aerial search of the man's last known location.
Molendyk says SAR members determined that the man may have followed the creek, that flows to the north west, to get back to the lodge, but unfortunately the creek flows in the exact opposite direction from the lodge.
"An aerial sweep of the valley did locate him. He was found standing near a large boulder on the valley bottom. He was waving a yellow rain jacket as a signaling flag and one of our officers caught sight of it."
Rough terrain prevented the helicopter from landing safely on the valley floor, resulting in a dramatic rescue, says Molendyk.
"The chopper was brought in close to the large boulder as the hiker climbed up onto the right side of the rock. Touching down with the right skid of the helicopter, on the top of the bolder, the crew opened the door and helped the hiker inside the aircraft. "
He was then flown to the base camp where he was reunited with his adult son. Both men are from the Kelowna area.
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