Search crews locate missing snowmobilers

Vernon Search and Rescue members assisted in finding two snowmobilers in the Shuswap.

Vernon Search and Rescue members assisted in finding two snowmobilers in the Shuswap.

On Jan. 21, two men were snowmobiling in the Crowsfoot area near Celista when they became stuck in extremely difficult terrain. After trying unsuccessfully to extract themselves, they were cold, exhausted and faced a night out in the wilderness.

“When they failed to return that evening, friends called the RCMP, who in turn contacted Shuswap Search and Rescue,” said Trevor Honigman, with Vernon SAR.

On Jan. 22, Vernon SAR was asked to provide its helicopter winch rescue team because steep terrain and potential avalanche conditions prevented Shuswap SAR members from reaching the men.

“With the end of the day approaching, it was decided that the Vernon SAR team was the safest solution to extract the subjects for the next day,” said Honigman.

On Jan. 23, the weather improved and the Vernon team flew to the area, located the men and lowered a technician by winch 150 feet down between the trees.

“Once the subjects were assessed, they were winched up into the helicopter one by one,” said Honigman.

Both men were delivered to paramedics for care and have since been released.