Local SAR (Search and Rescue) units were kept on their toes over the long weekend searching vast terrain on two separate call-outs.
Both calls involved missing men, one ended with resolution on Friday, the other male remains missing.
The first call came in just before 3 a.m. Thursday morning, says Mike Hudson, president of South Columbia SAR.
A 25-year old man, reported to be despondent, was missing in the Salmo/Trail area.
“(He) left in a vehicle and was reported to have crashed or gone into a ditch somewhere between Salmo, Trail and the Castlegar area,” explained Hudson.
Teams from Castlegar and Rossland assisted with the ground search. Two helicopters were deployed, one from the provincial emergency program the other, from CASARA (a Canada-wide nonprofit aviation association dedicated to search and rescue).
The young man was located at approximately 7 a.m. near Champion Lakes and was subsequently handed over to police for further evaluation, Hudson added.
In the second case, South Columbia assisted Castlegar SAR in the search for Oscar Bot, 40 of Castlegar.
“We went home and got a few hours rest and we’re called out again,” Hudson said. “Our team was involved until about 6:30 p.m. (Friday).”
An extensive ground and air sweep from the Bombi to Nancy Greene summits, including logging road accesses and off road areas, failed to turn up any sign of Oscar Bot, 44. Air and ground searches were suspended on Saturday pending more information.
Police confirmed the search had ended Monday, and an updated report would be issued.
Hudson says these latest searches mark three call outs in just under a week, and an unusual two in one day. On June 23, SCSAR spent the night searching the Champion Lakes area for a missing local couple and their two dogs. The man, woman and their pets were safely located early Thursday morning.
“We sent out a message on Facebook to urge the public to please be careful out there and plan ahead with some tips and things they should take with them and or plan ahead with.”
SAR crews across the province were busy over the long weekend, he continued.
“With warm weather and the sense for adventure lots of people were out and about,” Hudson said. “Please remember no matter the duration of your trip or the type, be over prepared and make sure someone knows your route and expected time of return. This will help aid in the event we have to come and look for you.”
Hudson reminds those going off trail to carry an in–reach device or spot beacon, or a cell phone with charged up battery.
“This will all help you be safer and us to find you quicker,” he said. “We thank our local communities for their support and please stay safe out there – but in the event you’re in trouble – we will be there to find you.”