Twenty-two search and rescue volunteers quickly joined together this weekend in a successful effort to find an area family lost in the North Thompson backcountry near Barriere.
The family of three started a day of hiking and UTVing in the Dixon Mountain area on Saturday, May 15. Unfortunately, what started out to be a fun adventure eventually became a hunt to find their way home, as the area is large with a crisscross of trails, game trails and dead ends.
Both Barriere and Kamloops Search and Rescue were called out at approximately 8:30 p.m. that evening to find the lost adventurers.
KSR Assistant Search Manager Paula Davis reported a Search and Rescue fixed wing airplane was brought in to help with the search, and fortunately was able to get a fixed coordination point on the location of the family.
“This greatly helped in narrowing down the area for our teams on the ground,” said the assistant search manager, “It was a great assist in being able to locate the three individuals, who were shining flashlights to help us find them”.
Once found the three were helicoptered out at about 9:45 a.m. on Sunday morning, then met by BC Ambulance who made sure everyone was okay.
“The local knowledge from the Barriere team was really helpful in our effort to find them,” said Davis, “Other than the family being dehydrated and probably tired and hungry they were all reported to be okay.”
UPDATE: Within a few hours from the the time that the helicopter and search and rescue volunteers had departed from the site where the family had been rescued, reports from residents in the valley below started coming in of seeing smoke rising from the mountain. Possibly an ember from a campfire had been fanned back to life by the wind created by the helicopter. The fire was quickly acted on by BC Wildfire in Kamloops who sent a bomber to drop retardant on the fire at approximately 12:30 p.m. The site was then closely monitored with a helicopter dropping water onto any hot spots that appeared.