False alarm in backcountry

A distress signal out of the backcountry north of Lumby, B.C. has turned out to be a false alarm.

A group of three Vernon snowbikers were riding in the Park/Nelson Mountain area Saturday afternoon when their InReach satellite GPS system transmitted an SOS signal, triggering automatic phone calls to their families.

Family members phoned police, and a ground search began using plotted GPS points from the distress call. Snowfall and sunset added to the urgency of the situation.

When Vernon Search and Rescue were nearing the head of the trail, radio contact was made with the bikers. It was eventually discovered that the group's InReach gear was inadvertently switched on while in their bag.

Vernon Search and Rescue hope the public will learn the lesson that all emergency gear should be checked and stored properly before and after any trip. 

They also wish to thank the families of this group for alerting authorities quickly once they received the distress call, rather than waiting.  

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