'Everybody did the right thing': Search crews praise lost snowmobiler after rescue
VANCOUVER -- A teenage snowmobiler who got lost on a backcountry trip is being praised by his local search and rescue crew for building a snow cave and staying put.
The teen got lost on Saturday while out with friends in the area of Mica Mountain, when he got separated from the group, says South Cariboo Search and Rescue manager James Seeley.
“He had the backcountry smarts – when he realized he couldn’t find his way out – to put his snowmobile in an open area then he went over to a tree-lined area and dug himself a snow cave in a bank, which took him out of the elements,” Seeley said.
His friends realized he was missing and did a brief search for him, but then called for help using a cellular satellite system.
“They realized it was getting dark and beyond their abilities to find him,” Seeley said.
The search and rescue crew found him within a couple of hours, sitting inside the cave.
“He had food and water with him (and was getting) prepared to stay overnight,” Seeley said.
“Everybody did the right thing, they were smart, you know, didn’t get in a flap about it,” he said.
The South Cariboo Search and Rescue posted a photo of the teen’s snow cave on its Facebook page, and described how the young person “did everything right when things went wrong.”
Everyone in the group was prepared for a “self-rescue” as they should have been, Seeley said. On its Facebook page, the search crew also commended his friends.
“We would also like to commend the other backcountry users who, after realizing their limits and exhausting their area knowledge called us for assistance. By doing this, it kept this task as a search for one person and not multiple. The actions of everyone involved was spot on,” it reads.
Despite the successful outcome, Seeley said the “young fellow” didn’t have enough supplies to make a fire, and therefore in his estimation he wasn’t fully equipped to stay the night.
“It’s an hour and a half travel time, in good road conditions (to go and rescue him),” he said.
“He’s not the first young chap to get turned around out there … Take the extra gear with you, take a little bit of fire-making equipment … extra clothing, and be smart about it, just hunker down in place.”
“He did all the right stuff, that’s just a good news thing,” he said.