PENSAR asks snowmobilers to take extra caution going out

Rescue used huge resource

Penticton Search and Rescue (PENSAR) are asking snowmobilers to take extra safety precautions following yesterday's incident where a man went missing while out snowmobiling near Apex Mountain Resort.

The 911 call was received at about 4:00 p.m. from a snowmobiler in trouble, who asked for help from resort staff. 

It resulted in a massive search response, deploying a high number of regional SAR resources to help locate the missing snowmobiler before darkness set in.

Early attempts to identify the exact location of the snowmobiler and his cellphone proved to be unsuccessful, leaving searchers with a vast area to work in, says the press release.

"PENSAR Search Manager Kelvin Hall recognized that with diminishing light and a lack of information, PENSAR needed to get all the resources it could into the field.

"Within an hour over 25 resources were involved in the search which included 11 PENSAR members, mutual aid assistance from Princeton and Oliver Osoyooos SAR, local help from the Penticton Snowmobile club and Apex resort personnel."

A search aircraft from the Kelowna-Canadian Air Search and Rescue Association was also deployed during the search to assist. 

Police made contact with the missing snowmobiler about 9:00 p.m. and rescuers confirmed not long after the man had been found safe.

This was the second call in a week that PENSAR has received in regards to a snowmobiler in distress in the area.

Hall is asking snowmobilers or outdoor activity enthusiasts to take the following precautions:

1. If you're going out, tell someone where you are going. 

2. If you do have contact with someone and the call drops and you self-rescue, be sure to connect with authorities to advise that you are safe. You may not know resources are mobilized to search for you. 

3. Use the Adventure Smart trip-planning App – it’s free and it works. 

4. Don’t venture out alone; go out with a partner in the outdoors. 

5. And remember – Cell phones are fantastic tools, but they have limitations and don’t always work everywhere, and batteries will fail when you want them to work. 

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