South Columbia Search and Rescue locate missing man

Darell Unger was was found safe and sound Tuesday night

A Trail man reported missing was found “safe and sound” Tuesday night after a short but challenging search, according to police.

When South Columbia Search and Rescue (SAR) was called in to locate 49-year-old Darrell Unger at approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday, the crew had little to nothing to go on but a vehicle description and an urgency to find him. Just a few hours later, 30 regional SAR members deployed and the missing man was successfully rescued and forwarded to the hospital for care.

“The family had some concerns for his well-being, so we were very interested in locating him as fast as possible,” explained Sgt. Darren Oelke of the Trail and Greater District Detachment.

Unger was last seen leaving his home around 11 a.m Tuesday, and by 3 p.m. South Columbia SAR was called out for assistance.

“Darrell was a particularly close search for us, as he was a member with us a few years back,” explained Mike Hudson, the South Columbia SAR president, who managed the rescue.

“We’ve had a couple of searches that have been pretty close in regards to family or friends, but we’ve never had a search where we’ve had one of our members or previous members (missing).”

From his home, Hudson called in aerial assistance to give a general overview in hopes of finding a starting point.

“Having been with search and rescue previously, we knew he knew a lot of backcountry areas so it definitely widened the search for sure,” said Hudson.

By then, he began to mobilize his command and headed toward the hall in Fruitvale but his efforts were literally intercepted when he was struck by another vehicle. The motor-vehicle accident left the command truck parked, but Hudson jumped in with another member and continued toward the hall.

Upon arrival, Hudson called in extra resources from SAR Rossland, Castlegar, and Nelson. About 30 members of the collective group focused efforts on the Pend D’Oreille, Champion Lakes, Bombi Summit, Sunningdale and Syringa areas.

It wasn’t until Hudson touched base with Unger’s wife that he decided to focus efforts around the Pend D’Oreille, an area the missing man liked to visit.

Members migrated there, where Unger was located up from the Seven Mile Dam with his vehicle on a dirt road. He was in need of immediate medical attention and was evacuated to the Trail Walmart, where paramedics took over.

“We were so very happy to find Darrell when we did and alive of course,” said Hudson. “This was a relief for our SAR members, especially knowing the subject as a fellow previous member.

“(The rescue) definitely had the same urgency level as any but, of course, because we knew him, we had that drive to keep going and keep looking and trying to do what we could, even though we were limited by the information we had,” he added.

RCMP are not releasing any more details on the “sensitive” rescue. Oelke had high praise for SAR and its quick and successful rescue.

“When we get to the point where we don’t have the manpower, we hand it over to SAR,” he explained.

“When we want as many boots on the ground looking, and we want to get it done in a short period of time, SAR is called in.”

Just Posted

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Tour company plans shuttle service to Kelowna for stranded travellers

SMT Kootenay wants to help travellers get in and out of ‘Cancelgar’ in winter months

First Past the Post is the only option

Letter to the Editor by Dieter Bogs of Trail

Acid tainted vehicles from Trail spills, held for evidence

Contaminated vehicles are evidence in ICBC’s lawsuit against “negligent parties”

Kootenay Boundary swears in 7 new directors

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary swears in 7 new directors and 6 returning directors

VIDEO: Stan Lee leaves posthumous message for his fans

Marvel Comics’ co-creator died on Monday at the age of 95

VIDEO: Protected bighorn sheep killed in B.C. Interior

The sheep are considered a species of concern because of their low population in B.C.

VIDEO: The definition of a kilogram has officially changed

50-plus countries voted to a ground-breaking overhaul to the international system of measurements

Missing-persons list tops 600 in fire-stricken California

Disaster escalates as officials raised the death toll to 63

Deer carcasses don’t belong in green bins, says B.C. city

City of Nanaimo issues reminder to residents, saying fur isn’t compostable

B.C. couple helping wildfire evacuees in northern California

A planned holiday has turned into a humanitarian effort for a Penticton couple

$177,000 raised for BC Cancer Foundation in B.C. Interior

Luncheon supports patient and family emergency services for Southern Interior B.C. residents

Dead whale discovered on B.C. shore

The whale was discovered Friday morning near the BC Ferries terminal

‘This is gangster,’ bait car thief declares on video

Footage from Abbotsford gains attention on social media

Most Read