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Women rescued after “doing everything right” including firing a flare

helicopter Tumbler Ridge

Two women have been rescued in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies in northeastern British Columbia, Canada, after doing “everything right” including carrying flares.

Marieanne McCollough, Nicole Amirault and their dog became lost when snow fell as they were hiking, according to the Tumbler Ridge Search and Rescue Facebook page.

They were found when they saw a helicopter overhead and set green tree boughs on the fire, producing white smoke. They also set off a flare and used a reflective emergency blanket to reflect sunlight.

The Tumbler Ridge Search and Rescue Team said the women did everything right, as they left a check-in time, had extra safety equipment, and stayed in one location.

The search involved 36 ground search and rescue volunteers from Tumbler Ridge Search and Rescue Team, South Peace Search and Rescue and North Peace Search and Rescue, plus six Provincial Emergency Program Air volunteers from Williams Lake.

“These ladies went for a hike with their dog in the alpine and we cannot say enough about their preparedness. Marianne has been a lifelong hiker and outdoors person. They hiked in towards Bootski Lake and turned around when it was getting late. A light flurry of snow had fallen while they were out. They did not find the trail going back down the ridge, and walked past the trail down the toe of the slope.

“After a while they recognized that they were lost and chose to make a camp, 3.6 kilometres past where they lost the trail in the middle of forest, on the flats near the river.

“They had a saw, tarp, backpacking stove, two ways to light a fire, extra clothing and plenty of food.

“They heard the helicopter which our team was using to conduct a search along the river as they were shuttled to the next mountain mission.

“The ladies quickly put green boughs on the fire and our team saw the white puff of smoke. Then they set off a flare which our team also saw. Finally, they used a simple reflective emergency blanket to reflect the sun to show the team exactly where they were. We landed as close as possible, and walked in to find the women and their dog in high spirits, warm and safe. There are so many things these ladies did right.”

The image is from Tumbler Ridge, Search and Rescue’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TumblerRidgeSAR

Oct 24, 2017