VANCOUVER -- A geolocation app could help save a lost or injured hiker’s life, according to North Vancouver RCMP.

After what has been a record-breaking year of calls to assist with rescue efforts on the North Shore Mountains, an app called What3words was all it took to track down a group of hikers who recently got lost on a remote summit. 

The app has been used in life-saving situations in other locations around the world but according to Mounties, this is the first recorded use of it in an emergency response setting in B.C. 

"The dispatcher sent the hiker a text message containing a link. The hiker clicked the link and read out the three words displayed and the dispatcher was then able to pinpoint their location to within a three metre square,” said Sgt. Peter DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP, in a news release.

“We receive dozens of 911 calls each year for lost, injured or missing hikers, skiers and snowboarders. When conditions in the mountains are quickly deteriorating and the battery on your cell phone is about to die, those seconds can make all the difference,” he added. 

The app is free to use and works by using a combination of three randomly selected words to determine the hiker’s location.

For example, "wacky, rainfall, indirect" is the code of a three metre square located along the Lynn Peak hiking trail.

North Vancouver RCMP said the use of this kind of unique technology is a move in the right direction for the detachment, which is working to modernize its current operations. 

“When we get a call from someone who doesn’t know where they are and are in need of police help, this offers us a faster, more accurate way to find them,” said DeVries. 

Although RCMP warn outdoor enthusiasts not to depend solely on this app to stay safe while in the mountains. 

"You have to tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back, you have to know the risks you're facing and properly prepare,” he added. 

DeVries suggests hikers plan their trip accordingly, know the terrain, check the weather beforehand and carry the necessary safety gear.