Lost hiker rescued from South Okanagan

By Shelby Thom  January 25, 2021 11:45 am

Two outdoor enthusiasts got into some trouble in the Okanagan backcountry on Saturday, prompting two search and rescue operations just hours apart.

Penticton Search and Rescue said 18 members were dispatched to the Nickel Plate lake area near Apex Mountain ski resort around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday to assist the air ambulance with a medical evacuation.

Search manager Randy Brown said a middle-aged woman was out snowshoeing in the trails when she suffered a medical episode.

Read more: Central Okanagan Search and Rescue says 2020 was its busiest year on record

“Due to the urgency of the call, Penticton responded with an air evacuation and ground teams, while local ski patrol members from the Nordic and Alpine area responded via snow machine,” he said in a statement.

The woman was airlifted to Penticton Regional Airport where she was transferred to an awaiting ambulance and rushed to the hospital. Her condition is unknown.

Video: Vernon Search and Rescue prepares for busy 2021

Then, just before 4:30 p.m. Saturday, search and rescue crews were called to assist with a lost hiker in the Mahoney Lake area southwest of Okanagan Falls.

“PENSAR called out additional resources and re-routed the Nickel plate teams to the Mahoney Lake area where search teams were sent out on local trails and located the female hiker at 6 p.m. who was cold but in good health,” Brown said.

Read more: Vernon Search and Rescue sees busy start to 2021

He added that strong cellphone signals assisted with locating both subjects. Rescuers were able to quickly locate the injured snowshoer because another member of the party provided the team with GPS coordinates from an iPhone compass app.

Video: Search crews wrap up very busy year Calls for Help

In the next event, searchers had constant communication with the lot hiker and were able to identify her location.

PENSAR encourages outdoor enthusiasts to be prepared before venturing outside. Brown said recreationists should have a trip plan, take essential goods such as food, water, and extra clothing, as well as locator devices such as a cell phone, compass, and extra batteries

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