Overdue hikers spend the night in a South Okanagan canyon

Oliver and Osoyoos Search and Rescue helped rescue 10 overdue hikers

Members of the Oliver and Osoyoos Search and Rescue helped bring 10 overdue hikers back to safety after they were reported missing while in the Gallagher Canyon area, north of Oliver. (Photo courtesy of Oliver and Osoyoos Search and Rescue)

Overdue hikers in the Oliver area were located by search and rescue, with the help of RCMP, early Monday morning.

Oliver and Osoyoos Search and Rescue were tasked by RCMP around 1:40 a.m. to help look for three missing hikers who were exploring the Gallagher Canyon area north of Oliver.

READ MORE: South Okanagan search and rescue group to have first search dog next year

“The 15 search and rescue team members proceeded to do several hasty searches in an attempt to make contact with the subjects throughout the morning and we were updated that there was actually 10 in the group that had been separated into two groups,” said Rob Selsing, search and rescue manager.

The group included two adult females, six adult males, two youths and three dogs. Contact was made with one of the groups around 5 a.m. and they were successfully extracted and brought to the search and rescue base at 7 a.m. Five people were still unaccounted for and their location unknown but Selsing they finally managed to reach they by cellphone at 9 a.m.

Air support from the RCMP had been requested just prior to this, however they were unable to see the group despite flying over them several times due to the canopy of the trees. After co-ordinates were obtained using Google maps, the RCMP air support confirmed they had a visual of the group.

Selsing that group then hiked the remaining way to the search and rescue vehicles located at the base of the canyon and brought back to the base around 10:20 a.m.

“They were all mostly just tired, and actually the second group was better prepared than the grist group because they had what we call the essentials with them. They also, in fact, had sleeping bags and blankets. We heard the other group did not. This group was prepared to stay overnight if they had to,” said Selsing.

The hikers had left two vehicles by the distillery just north of Oliver in Gallagher Lake and two other vehicles east of Okanagan Falls on a forestry road with a plan to hike down to natural waterslides in the canyon. Selsing said at some point one group got ahead of the other and they became separated. The search and rescue manager said this incident serves as a good lesson for anyone hiking in the South Okanagan backcountry.

“Have a trip plan for sure, and stick to it. Sometimes you can’t always do that but try to stick to it and don’t separate yourself from the group. Be prepared and have a small backpack with your essentials in it, whether that is medication, water, protein shakes or bars or whatever you need. If you are using electronic equipment be aware if you have sufficient battery power and have a map and compass as a backup so you know where you are going,” said Selsing.

As a volunteer organization, Selsing said many of the OOSAR members that had been scheduled to work at their regular jobs had to make alternate plans today as they had been up since the early morning searching for the hikers.

The OOSAR is currently fundraising for a new project — a truck and trailer station. For more information visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OliverOsoyoosSAR/.

p>To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Perseverance and a love for running: Malindi Elmore shatters Canadian women’s marathon record

Malindi Elmore ran an time of 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon on Sunday

YLW to host event to help ease people with autism into flying

The tour will take families through the entire pre-flight process

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Bulawka and teammates make history for Kelowna Skating Club at nationals

The club returns from a strong showing at the National Skate Championships

Rental costs keep climbing in Kelowna

Between 2018-2019, cost to rent two-bedroom unit in city increased by 9.4 per cent to $1,385

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Summerland taxes expected to rise by 4.0%

Increase to add an estimated $77.73 to typical tax bill

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Tourism visits to the Thompson/Okanagan up 18 per cent year-over-year

In 2019, almost 11.4 million people spent at least one night visiting the region

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Dyer: What should you do with the climate action plan?

Kristy Dyer is a new columnist to Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Most Read