March 16, 2014 - 1:04 PM
BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY
KAMLOOPS – As the Kamloops Search and Rescue volunteers checked their equipment and headed out into the snow at Sun Peaks, they had a sense they were on a wild goose chase.
The crew spent almost 12 hours looking for an out-of-bounds skier who made it to safety on their own.
A skier followed some tracks out-of-bounds at the resort and quickly realized he was headed for big trouble, so turned around headed back to the resort, according to Kamloops SAR search manager Al Hobler.
The tracks continued on towards Adams Lake, so he reported them to the ski patrol.
At 4 p.m. on Saturday, Search and Rescue headed out on snowmobiles to find the tracks. It took quite a while to find the tracks because it was snowing. They tried to get the RCMP helicopter in to help, but the cloud cover was too low, reducing visibility to almost nothing.
The tracks became hard to follow on the sleds because of the deep snow, so they switched to snowshoes.
Early Sunday morning the tracks came to the Cahilty Forest Service Road. Hobler said it became obvious the skier had made it out on their own. The search was called off.
Hobler admits they didn’t have a missing persons report. He points out that if someone was indeed lost they would have been in rough shape if SAR waited a day for the person to be reported missing. He said it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“It was a good that there were several people that were astute enough to recognize that was potentially serious situation,” Hobler said. “Fortunately this person self-rescued.”
Hobler said it was an excellent training exercise, but added, too bad it was in the middle of the night.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014