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Missing Penticton hiker located after weekend search

April 28, 2015 - 10:02 AM

PENTICTON - With more than a foot of fresh snow in the Brent Mountain area on Saturday a hiker was left out in the cold that night as rescue crews worked quickly to locate the man, who was reported missing after not returning from a day hike.

The family of a 19-year-old Penticton man called police to report him missing after he didn't return from a day hike in the Brent Mountain area and Penticton Search and Rescue volunteers got called in on the search by Penticton RCMP shortly after 10:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25.

He had not returned to a designated rendezvous point and weather conditions were deteriorating, with up to a foot of snow having fallen in the area over the course of the day.

The man had some seasonal gear on but searchers were told he was not prepared to remain outdoors overnight.

Search Manager Richard Terry wasted quickly mobilized crews to the area, but by early morning the hiker had not been found. At this time a fixed wing aircraft from the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association joined the search along with a helicopter from Eclipse Helicopters. The helicopter ferried search crews to the Brent Mountain area in order to begin a sweep search from the mountain top.

A command vehicle was staged on Shingle Creek Road to coordinate more than 20 search and rescue personnel. Kelowna’s Central Okanagan Search and Rescue members also joined in the hunt for the missing man.

Shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday the man walked out of the bush onto a roadway near Apex Mountain and called his family, who then alerted police. He had lost his way the night before,  finding shelter as darkness fell and staying in one location for the evening. With daylight, he found a creek drainage which he followed to the roadway.

Following notification of his location, the remaining search and rescue crews were ferried off the mountain by helicopter.

Terry said people planning to venture outdoors should make sure they have a plan beforehand and share that with someone prior to setting out. Plan for the unexpected, check the weather, and if lost, stay in one place. When venturing into the backwoods, hikers should have, and know how to use, a compass, Cell phones and GPS devices can’t always be relied upon, and batteries can fail.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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