West Kelowna  

COSAR delays celebration to rescue stranded Alberta couple

Saved on special night

A special night for Central Okanagan Search and Rescue turned into just another night at work for volunteer rescue crews.

After almost a year of planning, COSAR was set to unveil their Westside gear cache Thursday evening.

"Unfortunately, the ceremony had to wait as the volunteers were called out to search for two missing hikers in the McCall Lake area above Peachland," states a news release from COSAR.

An Alberta couple had successfully made the 300-metre climb up to the lake but became disoriented on the braided trails and, after circling the lake twice, they decided to sit, call for help and wait.

With sunset about a half-hour away, RCMP and COSAR decided to use a helicopter to extract the pair.

“It was textbook,” said search manager Duane Tresnich. “The couple did everything right by sitting and waiting for help. Wandering around in the dark could have led to trouble, as there are trails and cliffs everywhere."

“Interestingly, we had a crew bringing a trailer from our main hall by the Kelowna Airport and another crew bringing in assets from our new West Kelowna gear cache. The West Kelowna team arrived more than a half-hour sooner. I think this speaks to the success of the new location."

"COSAR would like to thank Mega Storage for their support and use of their facilities," says Tresnich.

Thursday's rescue was the 82nd task of the year, "we’re on track to break the record of 84 tasks, set in 2020," Tresnich says.

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