A lost camper was found safe and sound in North Okanagan backcountry June 22, 2020, after a three-day search by emergency personnel. (File photo)

Lost Okanagan camper found safe after three-day search

Vernon RCMP, search and rescue, police dog and air units were utilized in the search

An emergency call from a lost camper in the North Okanagan turned into a three-day search.

While the search had a fortunate ending, the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP hopes it will serve as a lesson in backcountry preparedness.

At approximately 9 p.m. on Friday, June 19, Vernon police received a call from a camper who had become disoriented in thick brush and needed help returning to their campsite.

The camper was unfamiliar with the area and could only provide a general location of where they had set up camp before setting out on foot.

Without specific location details, officers attended to the general area to patrol and sound the police siren. Unfortunately, police dispatch was unable to maintain contact with the caller’s cellphone to assist with triangulating a location.

The search went on for the next three days.

Police were assisted by volunteers from Vernon Search and Rescue, the RCMP Police Dog Services Section and RCMP Air Services to conduct a thorough search of the area in an attempt to locate the missing camper.

READ MORE: Crews rescue disoriented hiker from Brent Mountain area

On Monday afternoon, the campsite was spotted by a police helicopter conducting patrols of the area.

The missing camper was found safe, at which point they told officers they had been unable to update police that they no longer required assistance because their cellphone had lost battery power.

“Numerous police resources are dedicated to these types of calls for assistance. This is a good reminder for people using the back country to ensure they provide details of where they will be to a family or friends,” media relations officer Cpl. Tania Finn said.

“It is very fortunate that this incident was able to resolve itself and the camper found their way safely back to their campsite. However, had we had information on where the campsite was located, this could have been resolved within a few hours of police being called.”

To enjoy the backcountry with personal safety in mind, Finn said it’s important to research your route, plan where you will be camping and hiking, share your plan with friends or family members, be prepared for accidents and have ‘just in case’ items including warm clothing, extra water and a portable cellphone charger.

READ MORE: Police respond after bear spray used in altercation at Shuswap 7-Eleven


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

RCMP

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

Just Posted

North Okanagan sisters-in-law sleep out successful

Kiley Routley and Heidi Routley raise nearly $2,400 and awareness for youth homelessness

Vernon youth questioned by RCMP after incident on school roof

Police receive reports of debris being thrown from Seaton Secondary roof Saturday

Vernon restaurant winging it with colour

Wings hosts colouring contests where child patrons can win gift certificates

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read