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UPDATE: Family of skiers rescued by RCMP helicopter near Sun Peaks

February 08, 2016 - 5:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - A family of skiers have been airlifted out of an avalanche zone near Sun Peaks.

Search Manager Alan Hobler says an RCMP helicopter sent to locate the family and assess the situation was able to land and pick the family up in two trips.

“They were able to locate them and land on site and flew them back to the resort,” he says. “I knew (RCMP) were going to attempt to locate them.”

The call for rescue came around 2 p.m. today, Feb. 8. Hobler says the family called when they realized they had missed the village when skiing back. Instead of continuing they called for help, which he says was the smart thing to do.

“I think they thought they were skiing back to the village and realized they had gone too far,” Hobler says.

The rescue was touch and go for a little while, Hobler says, because the family was in an area with avalanche risks.

“I think with that number of kids there and it being dark they just wanted to get them out,” he says of RCMP rescue efforts.

The family includes four children, the youngest of which is six. When search and rescue spoke to them originally, Hobler says they were uninjured and in good spirits.

The rescue team planned to hike in to find the family tonight and assess if they were able to hike back out with them. Locating the family wasn’t going to be a problem, but Hobler says guiding them out might have been problematic.

“Kids that young will be a little difficult,” he says. “Snow conditions are soft and wet.“

If guiding the family out wasn’t an option, Hobler says a helicopter with a winch system from Vernon would have been called. Instead the RCMP helicopter was able to find a safe place to land and pick up the family.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin at bkergin@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

- This story was updated at 6:21 p.m., Feb. 8, 2016, to note the family was rescued by RCMP helicopter.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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