On the morning of July 8, Cranbrook RCMP were notified that a 72-year-old hiker was overdue and had not been seen since 4:30 p.m. the previous day when he had become separated from his hiking partner while climbing a peak in the Bull Mountain area.
Cranbrook RCMP notified EMBC ( Emergency Management BC) and Cranbrook Search and Rescue who requested assistance from Kimberley Search and Rescue. As CASARA (Civilian Air Search and Rescue Association) were holding a large scale exercise locally, they assisted with a fixed wing air search. A 20 person ground search team in addition to the RCMP Police Dog Team, was assembled and searched the rugged terrain where the hiker was most likely to be. A helicopter was brought in and transported searchers to the high alpine areas where the search continued.
At about 8 p.m., as search managers were making arrangements for a night search and resources for the next day, a member of the Cranbrook RCMP using a spotting scope, located the missing hiker high on the mountain, about a five hour hike away. A ground team ascended the mountain again to assist the hiker who at 10 pm, was evacuated by helicopter and transported to a waiting ambulance and taken to the East Kootenay Regional Hospital where he was kept overnight for observation and released. When rescued the hiker appeared exhausted and was suffering from dehydration and weakness from his difficult descent down the steep slope but was otherwise in good shape.
The hiker was an experienced outdoorsman who was very familiar with the area and was well-equipped for an overnight stay. The hiker, whose name has not been provided by police, did not have a cell phone or personal locator beacon with him so electronic locating was not possible.
RCMP and the Cranbrook/Kimberley Search and Rescue strongly recommend that all people hiking in remote areas either have a cell phone, VHF radio or personal locator beacon as these devices will aid searchers in quickly locating anyone who may be lost or injured.
If anyone has information any crime they can call the Cranbrook RCMP at 250-489-3471 or East KootenayCrimestoppers at (1-800-222-TIPS) or you can also Google Cranbrook Crimestoppers and leave a webtip.
Cranbrook RCMPTags: Civilian Air Search and Rescue AssociationCranbrook RCMPCranbrook Search and RescueEmergency Management BCKimberley Search and RescueRCMP Police Dog Team
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