May 19, 2016 - 3:00 PM
VERNON - An Armstrong man on a solo hiking expedition in Monashee Provincial Park was likely quite surprised yesterday, May 18, when a large group of search and rescuers came looking for him.
The 45-year-old man had been sending messages to his family with a device called a spot beacon since Monday, May 16, letting them know everything was fine. What he didn’t realize was the messages weren’t transmitting, leaving his anxious family fearing the worst.
“The family panicked, called the RCMP, who called us out,” Vernon Search and Rescue spokesperson Leigh Pearson says.
Fourteen members of search and rescue deployed to the provincial park, located northeast of Cherryville, and began looking on foot in the area of Spectrum Lake. An RCMP helicopter was also dispatched to the area.
“We found him and he was in no trouble at all,” Pearson says. “He was out enjoying himself and having a great time in the mountains. We just chatted with him for a couple minutes and wished him a pleasant trip.”
Pearson says the man was well prepared to be out on his own, the only problem was a malfunctioning spot beacon.
“He was saying ‘I’m fine, everything’s good’ but the messages just stopped coming,” Pearson says.
The man’s family has been notified he’s fine, and Pearson says they were right to err on the side of caution.
He says the man is still out there finishing up his camping trip, despite all the commotion.
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