Despite being dehydrated, hungry and cold after being lost for 48 hours in the bush, a 55-year-old Anahim Lake man is safe and sound and in good health after being rescued by an RCMP helicopter last Saturday north of Kitwanga.
Last Friday, Sept. 20, the man set off with a group of friends to collect mushrooms in a location 12 kilometres up the Van Dyke Forest Service Road, 107 kilometres north of Kitwanga on Highway 37.
Stewart RCMP were called at approximately 2 p.m. Saturday, after the man became separated from the group and the group could not locate him.
“Several members from the Stewart Search and Rescue Team and one member of the Stewart RCMP were deployed to the area,” Lesley Smith, North District Media Relations officer said.
“Members were advised that the missing male was not properly equipped to stay in the wilderness overnight and temperatures were dropping.”
The man was not located prior to nightfall and search efforts continued the next day with the assistance of Terrace Search and Rescue making its way to the area.
RCMP Helicopter Air 4, in the area for an unrelated operational requirement, was made available to assist with an aerial search.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. RCMP Air 4 spotted some smoke in the search area and the ground search crew was directed towards it.
By 2:15 p.m. the search crew located the male in good shape and the crew helped walk him out.
When questioned about the delay for calling police, the group was under the impression they had to wait 24 hours before reporting someone missing.
“This is not the case and RCMP urge the public to contact police as soon as possible with any missing or lost persons complaint,” Smith said, adding for the lost man to “hunker down and start a fire to keep warm while he was there was pretty exceptional.”
With RCMP files