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Shuswap Search and Rescue crew responds to missing sledders, injury, hypothermia

Back-to-back calls began Friday afternoon, Jan. 7
Shuswap Search and Rescue volunteers respond to three calls for service in a period of 16 hours beginning around 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan 7, with a sledder injured near Grizzly Lake in the North Shuswap. (Shuswap Search and Rescue/Facebook photo)

Three back-to-back calls for service kept Shuswap Search and Rescue volunteers busy over the weekend.

Search manager John Schut said the first of the calls came in around 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7. It was for an injured sledder at Grizzly Lake, located southwest of Momich Lakes Provincial Park. Schut said the snowmobiler had injured his back while attempting to get his sled unstuck.

A team of eight Shuswap Search and Rescue (SSAR) volunteers responded and were successful in retrieving the injured man.

While the team was returning home, at 6:30 p.m. search and rescue received another call. This one was for a pair of sledders missing in the Blue Lake area east of Sicamous. Schut said the team of eight stopped to pick up three more volunteers and additional snowmobiles before responding.

According to Schut, four snowmobilers had split up into groups of two. One of the groups returned to the parking lot, the other did not. It was learned the missing pair had travelled into a drainage.

“They had a GPS co-ordinate for where they parted company which was absolutely awesome,” said Schut.

The search team was able to find the location and then continued along the route of the missing sledders, who had gone down so far they couldn’t be accessed by snowmobile. Schut said SSAR members had to snowshoe in, bringing snowshoes for the missing men. The search team was able to contact the missing men by radio, locate them and then escort them out, back to the chalet at Blue Lake. There they were put on another machine, said Schut, and taken down to the parking lot.

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“It was just 7 a.m. when they were returning and they got a third call,” said Schut. “This was a call for a severely hypothermic person in the Gleneden area. Police, ambulance and the fire department were involved there.”

Schut said rescue members had to hike about a kilometre into the bush to retrieve the individual, who was brought back to waiting paramedics.

Schut said the individual was transported by air ambulance but he could provide no further details as to the person’s condition.
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Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor of the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market, and Eagle Valley News. I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to keep our readers informed and engaged.
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