Coquitlam Search and Rescue members spent 4.5 hours guiding two hikers and their dog off a snowy mountain in the pitch dark Wednesday night (April 12) in one of three rescue calls the team received that day.
The madness began around 2:30 p.m. when police were called about a lost hiker near Buntzen Lake. Coquitlam SAR was able to find them and brought them out uninjured by 6:30 p.m.
In the meantime, around 4:15 p.m., police and SAR were notified of a lost boater in the Upper Pitt River area. Luckily, the boater was able to find their own way out and members were free when a third call came in at 6:43 p.m.
The most serious of the three calls, SAR members had to use helicopters to locate two hikers and their dog on a ridge above the east side of Buntzen Lake. Once they knew where the hikers were, SAR members spent 4.5 hours guiding them off the snowy trail, not arriving back to safety until 2 a.m. on Thursday.
Coquitlam RCMP and SAR say the rescues serve as a good reminder to people that they need to go out prepared.
“At this time of year, it is still winter with snow on the ground on the high trails. If you encounter snow or something changes during your trip plan, we encourage outdoor enthusiasts to re-assess their plans,” Coquitlam SAR Search Manager Stu Fleming said in a statement.
People are encouraged to provide someone with their trip plan and expected return time before heading out, ensure their cell phones are fully charged and stay put if they get lost. They’re also reminded to pack essentials like flashlights, batteries, food and water, warm clothing, navigational aids, fire starters, first aid kits, a pocket knife, sun protection and a signalling device.