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Vernon Search and Rescue find hikers, welcome community to new home

Weekend started with rescue on Monashee Trail, finished with open house

A rescue and open house made for a busy weekend for Vernon Search and Rescue (VSAR).

The volunteer group were tasked Saturday, June 10, with finding a couple of lost hikers in the Pinnacle Lake area. The duo had signaled for help using the satellite-based SOS function on a newer-model iPhone.

After working out the GPS coordinates, VSAR determined the pair were on the Monashee Lake trail. So a ground crew drove to the area, and a three-person team was flown in by helicopter.

“After getting on the ground using a hover exit (there were no safe landing options) our team hiked less than one kilometre to reach the subjects,” said VSAR on its social media outlets. “After an assessment it was determined that the fastest and safest option was for everyone to hike out.”

VSAR members convoyed with the subjects to the highway, met up with ground crews and returned to base. Team members were home just before midnight.

“This was the first task for a number of our newest members who are just a week out from their overnight assessment. Great job everyone,” said VSAR, who then hosted visitors for five hours at its new home on Silver Star Road Sunday.

“We had a great time welcoming the community into our new home today. Thank you to everyone that joined us and thank you to the whole community for the ongoing support.”

Search and Rescue also handed out its annual awards for outstanding member dedication. Alain Lachapelle is the recipient of the Frank Whitecotton Award; Chris Henderson took home the Ed Hornell Award; and Mark Forsyth was the winner of the Sax Peters Award.

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