Help from Vernon Search and Rescue’s helicopter was instrumental in rescuing two sledders from Owlhead Mountain on Feb. 17. (Air Rescue One/VSAR photo)

Help from Vernon Search and Rescue’s helicopter was instrumental in rescuing two sledders from Owlhead Mountain on Feb. 17. (Air Rescue One/VSAR photo)

Helicopter used to rescue sledders who spent cold night on mountain near Sicamous

SAR volunteers from Vernon and the Shuswap as well as the sledders equipment helped the rescue

A pair of snowmobilers who became lost on Owlhead Mountain near Sicamous spent a cold, dark night outdoors but got out unscathed thanks to good equipment and the efforts of two search and rescue teams.

Shuswap Volunteer Search and Rescue search manager John Schut said they were called out at around 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 after an emergency call was placed by two members of a party of four snowmobilers who said their companions were missing.

Eleven search and rescue volunteers began combing the mountain for the missing pair. Schut said the searchers attempted to hail the lost people on the FRS radio they had with them and also signal them using flares and the lights on snowmobiles.

It was later found that the stranded snowmobilers had built themselves a fire and a snow cave to stay warm and were probably inside the cave when attempts to signal them were made.

Read More: City, fire department warn people to stay off ice in Salmon Arm Bay

Read More: Driver seriously injured in Highway 97B collision near Salmon Arm

The search went on through the night and Schut said a team of 10 volunteers arrived at around dawn to relieve the others. The Vernon Search and Rescue (VSAR)team was called for assistance and sent a snowmobile team and their helicopter.

VSAR search manager Trevor Honigman said the helicopter proceeded to the location the search had been narrowed down to the previous night, a drainage below Morton Lake. The helicopter crew was quickly able to locate the missing people by around 8:30 a.m.

Schut said the sledders would have been difficult to spot in the steep terrain they were stranded in, but they were able to revive their fire from the previous night and get in radio contact to provide their exact position.

The helicopter was able to winch them aboard. Schut said help from the air shaved hours off the rescue and the wayward snowmobilers were dropped off at the Owlhead parking lot unharmed.

Because they had the necessary equipment and skills to look after themselves, Schut said the lost sledders were able to spend the night on the mountain as well as could be expected. Neither of the pair from Cochrane, Alta. were injured and, according to Schut, everyone involved was off the mountain by the middle of the day on Feb. 17.

Read More: 15 people spread COVID-19 to work, daycare after 50-person games night: Henry

Read More: ‘They’re real cowards.’ Vandals fail to deter Shuswap woman from speaking out against racism



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

rescueSnow

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

National Police Week runs May 9-15, 2021, and Vernon North Okanagan RCMP will be highlighting some of its great work on its social media platforms to celebrate its relationships with community groups and stakeholders. (Contribtued)
Collaboration crucial in police work: Vernon Mounties

National Police Week is a public awareness campaign encouraging new and strengthened connections

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Sharks have been around longer than trees

Your morning start for Tuesday, May 11, 2021

BC Coroners Service logo, no date, stock photo
Police probe Lake Country man’s sudden death on parkway

Pelmewash Parkway was partially closed yesterday while RCMP, Coroners investigated

Members of the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus sing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Vernon choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

The southern mountain caribou, an iconic species for the Splatsin First Nation, is threatened with extinction, much to the dismay of the First Nation. (Province of B.C. photo)
Splatsin First Nation concerned over dwindling caribou herd

Southern mountain caribou at risk of extinction, will struggle to recover without habitat protection and restoration action - report

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

A map of Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry cutblock. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
B.C. First Nations restrict access to territory in wake of forestry standoffs

Huu-ay-aht set up checkpoints after heated and dangerous incidents on southwest Vancouver Island

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add 6 seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Most Read