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Tragedy and success for rescuers on busy Monday

Search and rescue team members had to use ropes to rescue five stranded hikers Monday night.
Image Credit: Mike Ritcey
August 19, 2014 - 10:58 AM

KAMLOOPS - After two months with only a few calls for service local search and rescue members were called out on three separate searches Monday, including one requiring a rope team to recover the body of Barriere man from a rolled SUV.

Kamloops Search Manager Alan Hobler says they were first called out shortly after 10 a.m. following a call about a missing man. The man had been driving with his brother on a remote forestry service road when they had a fight because the one brother was not comfortable with the driving and demanded he be let out around midnight Saturday. He walked the 14 hours home to Barriere at which point he realized his brother had not made it home.

Hobler says they found the 1995 Ford Explorer ‘pretty quick’ but the driver was already dead. He says it appears the vehicle had been going too fast and the driver lost control, going off an embankment.

Rope teams were called to recover the body and during that time a call came in to assist with a search for four overdue campers in the Barriere area. Team members made their way to the area but didn’t spend a long time on the search because the area was large and it was vague where the campers could be. The campers ended up coming out on their own.

Just after the team finished recovering the body the received an urgent call to assist stranded hikers near Kamloops Lake.

“They had just sat down and were cracking open their bottles of water,” Hobler says of the timing. “I told them to not get too comfortable.”

The rope teams — Shuswap Search and Rescue also had a rope team aid in the recovery — were quickly flown to the area near Cooney Bay by helicopter.

“The call came in as very urgent. We were told four individuals were hanging by their fingertips above the train tracks (by the old train tunnels),” he says. “We helicoptered (the) team to Tranquille Road… and the rest of us packed up and drove out.”

The rescue began while it was still light out and was completed just before midnight. In turned out there were actually five hikers and crews were able to lower them all to safety.

“I’m not sure how they ended up there,” Hobler says of the hikers, all in their 20s and from Kamloops, “But they went on terrain well beyond their ability and pushed it. They really got stuck.”

In total 17 Kamloops members aided in the three tasks Monday, along with another seven from the rope team out of Shuswap.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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