This view of the search area and the following comment was posted Sunday night, Jan.6, by Shuswap Search and Rescue on the organization’s Facebook page. “Not much of a view up there this morning but, thankfully, conditions improved!! We are grateful to have everyone home safe tonight.”

Man spends cold night in Shuswap’s Blue Lake snowmobile area

RCMP, Shuswap Search and Rescue, Eagle Valley Snowmobile Club find missing Albertan east of Sicamous

One sledder spent a chilly weekend night after getting stuck in a ravine in the Blue Lake snowmobile area east of Malakwa.

Shuswap Search and Rescue was called out to help locate four young sledders from Alberta at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5.

The missing men had been sledding around Blue Lake and were to meet back at the cabin around 4 p.m., says Shuswap Search and Rescue search manager John Schut.

While two men made it back to the cabin, two were missing. A call went out to the RCMP at 7 p.m. and a search was soon underway.

Related: Kelowna man rescued from Blue Lake snowmobile area

A level 2 avalanche technician from Revelstoke was called in and 15 Shuswap SAR members with 14 members of the Eagle Valley snowmobile club were assembled in teams and sent out to search various areas around the Blue Lake cabin.

The two subjects in the cabin had FRS (Family Radio Service) or “walkie-talkie” radios and were able to connect with one of the missing men who was found down a steep ravine about three kilometres north of the cabin.

“Two teams went in to rescue him,” says Schut. “A number of the team members had to leave their snowmobiles and proceed on snowshoes as the terrain was too steep.”

The first missing individual was located at 1:15 in the morning and taken back to the cabin by 2:30 a.m.

The second missing man was without communication and was even farther down the ravine.

Related: Winter rescues require special training

“The search was called off for the night while members caught a few hours of sleep,” says Schut, noting the search resumed the next morning with the aid of the Vernon Search and Rescue winch helicopter. “Weather was again a problem; it was snowing and the poor visibility necessitated the helicopter to be grounded for a few hours.”

Back at the ravine, search teams approached from above and below the missing man – from above on snowmobile and snowshoe and from below via a logging road.

“The subject’s snowmobile and the remnants of an overnight stay were found, but unfortunately the subject had started off on foot and was nowhere to be found,” Schut says. “He was later spotted by helicopter at mid-morning on Jan. 6 and brought back to safety.”

Search and Rescue members did not get back to Salmon Arm until 6 p.m. Sunday, many of them operating on little or no sleep.

As he does every year, Schut provided a list of items sledders must have with them when they head out into the backcountry: An FRS and a Spot or InReach personal satellite communicator, along with avalanche tools, extra food and the gear needed to be out overnight, including the ability to make a fire.

“The fellow who stayed overnight was able to build a fire but lacked communication,” he said, advising people who become lost to stay with their machines. “It make it more difficult to find them when they wander away.”


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Talks continue on structure of regional fire departments

Okanagan-Similkameen directors heard under the current structure the CAO’s title would need to change

PRICK! sees increase in patients

The rainbow friendly service offers STI and HIV screening monthly

First Things First evoking the power of song and play

Environmental group educating through entertainment

Super blood wolf moon fills Okanagan skies, to photographers’ delight

Photographers had a rare chance Sunday to capture a rare lunar eclipse

Keremeos cannabis shop waiting on provincial approval

Quantum 1 has applications in with the province to open seven stores including one in Keremeos

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read