Shuswap Volunteer Search & Rescue members have packed a lot into the past 10 days, including a key role in finding a lost 14-year-old snowboarder.
On Sunday evening, Feb. 2, SVSAR members answered a call from Sun Peaks Resort. Young snowboarder Carson Hadwin was missing, last seen on one of the mountain runs about 2:30 p.m.
John Schut, SVSAR spokesperson, says Kamloops Search & Rescue searched until early Monday, about 2 a.m. SVSAR continued the search about 7 a.m.
Along with Kamloops and Shuswap search and rescue groups, there was Nicola Valley Search & Rescue, two RCMP dog teams, a helicopter, drones and Civil Air Search & Rescue Association (CASARA) aircraft.
CASARA located Carson’s tracks as he had been dragging his snowboard along through the snow.
“Our team sent a snowmobile out to that area and they spotted him walking. One of the guys jumped off a snowmobile while it was still moving and ran after him,” Schut says, guessing the searcher leapt in his eagerness to reach the boy.
Schut said Carson was doing well and was “pretty happy to see search and rescue.”
A post from Alicia Hadwin, Carson’s mother, was shared on Shuswap Search & Rescue’s Facebook page. She expressed deep gratitude for everyone who helped bring her son home during what had been the worst days of her life.
“Remember not to sweat the small things with our children because something terrible could happen like this and that’s when everything comes into perspective,” she said, and emphasized the importance of survival skills, noting that her son kept himself alive that night, ending up with just a little frostbite on his toes.
“Teach your children a few small things that they can do to keep them going. If they snowboard or ski alone make sure they have warm clothing on, keep a few easy snacks in their jacket pockets. If they get lost stay in open areas where a helicopter can see them.”
Schut also warns people to check avalanche conditions before heading out, take extra clothes, extra food, be able to make a fire and be prepared to spend the night out if necessary.
Shuswap Search & Rescue was busy this past weekend as well, dealing with two incidents on Sunday, Feb. 9.
Just before 1 p.m., a call came in regarding a man who had fallen over backwards on his cross-country skis and injured his pelvis. He was on the Skmana Ski Trails near Chase in the vicinity of the snowshoe hut.
Schut says five members who live in Sorrento were able to snowshoe directly to the person.
With the use of a side-by-side, an all-terrain-vehicle that has tracks instead of wheels, and a snowmobile, a stretcher was brought in and the person was transported out to an ambulance.
Along with a total of 10 SAR members, a ski patrol person helped tend to and transfer the injured skier.
The second incident on Feb. 9 was at Cummins Lake, east of Sicamous.
A man broke his ankle but, fortunately, a SAR member was in the area. Schut says they were able to package him up about 3:45 p.m. so he could be taken to Vernon by Aurora Helicopters and then transported to Vernon Jubilee Hospital.