NORTH OKANAGAN - Search and rescue crews pulled a stranded snow biker to safety this morning.
Search manager Leigh Pearson says a man got separated from his group in the Hunter’s Range area, just outside of Enderby, and was reported missing at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 16.
The man’s friends were able to point rescue crews to the approximate area he got cut off from the group — around Morton Lake.
Crews from Vernon and Shuswap Search and Rescue were out on snowmobiles Monday evening attempting to locate the individual, but had to put the search on hold until this morning.
“We went as far as we could last night on snowmobiles but because of the dark we had to stop them. It was not safe to proceed,” Pearson says.
Vernon Search and Rescue’s helicopter winch team was out first thing Tuesday morning, Jan. 17, and it didn’t take long for them to find the man stuck down a steep canyon.
By 8:30 a.m., crews had the uninjured man airlifted to safety.
While it’s not quite as cold as it has been in recent weeks, Pearson says it was a concern for the man to be stuck outside overnight.
“His family (said) he goes out well prepared, but it’s still definitely concerning, especially in winter,” he says.
It’s quite common for search and rescue to be called out after snowmobilers or snow bikers venture down steep gullies and get stuck, Pearson says. He’s reminding people not to take their machines into areas where they might not be able to get back out.
— This story was updated at 9:07 a.m. Jan. 17, 2017, to say the snowmobiler was found.
— This story was corrected at 9:52 a.m. Jan. 17, 2017 to say the man was on a snow bike, not a snowmobile as previously reported.
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