VSAR called in for help

UPDATE: 1:06 p.m.

Two snowmobilers are back safe and sound after a joint rescue operation in the Owlhead area near Sicamous.

Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter winch team along with Shuswap Search and Rescue and RCMP spent the morning looking for the pair after they were reported missing last night.

"The weather wasn't good and it was hard getting into the area where the point last seen was," says search manager Leigh Pearson from Vernon Search and Rescue. 

The pair were spotted by an RCMP helicopter who then called on the Vernon SAR winch team to retrieve the snowmobilers. 

"They called in our helicopter with the winch and we winched them out and brought them out to safety."

The pair were cold, but no injuries are reported.

Vernon Search and Rescue is the only SAR team in Canada, outside of the military, trained on helicopter winch rescue. 

According to Sicamous RCMP, the missing men were a 25 year-old from Calgary and a 27 year-old from Rocky View, Alberta. The pair was reported to be equipped with adequate clothing, survival gear, and food.

"This is another example of the need to be properly equipped for unforeseen emergencies while enjoying the back country," stated Sgt Murray McNeil of the Sicamous RCMP. "Snowmobilers are urged to carry the essential gear; probe, transceiver and shovel along with proper winter survival gear."

ORIGINAL: 9:31 a.m.

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter winch team has been called to provide "neutral assistance" near Sicamous. 

Search manager Leigh Pearson says he can't provide any more information at this time as they are currently providing help in the Owlhead area. 

Castanet will update the public with further information as it becomes available. 

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