Should lost hikers pay for rescue?

The RCMP say a lost hiker who called 911 for help is OK after he triggered an extensive search.

A news release says the hiker, who had been camping with a group of friends, called for help Saturday morning from a remote spot in the Nanaimo area.

The 911 operator lost connection with the man because of a bad cellular signal, leaving police with just a name and a rough location.

The RCMP then contacted the man's camping companions, who hadn't even realized he was missing, and they told police he was an experienced hiker who was dressed appropriately for the weather.

Within an hour of the man's call, officers searched from the ground with the help of the police dog unit, while an RCMP helicopter took to the air.

More than five hours after the 911 call, the hiker found a logging road and flagged down a truck driver, who drove him to his waiting family at the police command centre.

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