Lost snowmobiler found after surviving a cold night in the North Okanagan

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NORTH OKANAGAN - A missing snowmobiler was found in a mountain range south east of Enderby Sunday night after spending a cold night alone.

At approximately 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21 the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP received a report of a missing snowmobiler near Cooke Mountain in the Kingfisher Area, RCMP spokesperson Const. Kelly Brett says.

A 19-year-old Vernon man was snowmobiling with a group of others when he was separated. He was last seen at approximately 2 p.m. that day. 

Police called out the Vernon Search and Rescue Society to assist with the search, which began at night fall. Due to the weather conditions and lack of light, the search was put on hold until next day.

On Monday Jan. 22, Search and Rescue, along with the RCMP Air Services unit, resumed the search and located the man at approximately 8:30 a.m. in a clearing within the Kingfisher Area. Search and Rescue air lifted the man out of the area to safety.

“This male is particularly lucky as he came out of this just being cold and tired, but otherwise in good condition, after his night’s stay in the mountain range,” Brett says. “This could have gone very differently, however the male was prepared with the proper equipment such as appropriate attire, food and water.”

Police would like to remind snowmobiling enthusiasts to take the necessary precautions before heading into the back country. Emergency supplies including a GPS beacon, satellite phone, extra fuel, food, water, matches and a shovel are strongly encouraged, Brett says. In addition, it is always a good idea to obtain backcountry and avalanche training prior to heading out and to ride in groups of two or more.

“The RCMP would like to thank the members of the Vernon Search and Rescue Society for their assistance with the search. Without their dedication and expertise, the results of this search could have been much worse,” Brett says.

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