UPDATE 2:58 p.m.
Vernon- Okanagan RCMP along with Vernon Search and Rescue were deployed overnight in search of two overdue snowmobilers.
On the evening of March 4, just after 8 p.m., the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were made aware of two snowmobilers that failed to return home after sledding near Bouleau Lake located within Regional District of the North Okanagan. RCMP front line officers immediately engaged the Vernon Search and Rescue team who deployed their members to the area shortly after the call was received.
“Once contacted by the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP, Vernon Search and Rescue deployed their trained sledding teams in an attempt to locate the two males which continued throughout the night as temperatures were expected to dip well below freezing overnight,” said Const. Kelly Brett. “Our community is fortunate to have an amazing group of highly trained volunteers who venture out into some of the worst conditions to preserve the life of others when they find themselves in dire situations.”
Along with the ground search that continued throughout the night, an aircraft was deployed by Vernon Search and Rescue at first light to conduct an aerial search. During the search, the RCMP was made aware that the missing males returned safely after digging themselves out and finding the correct trail back home.
“The males returned home and albeit cold, did not sustain any other injuries as a result of the incident,” added Brett. “The RCMP would like to remind outdoor enthusiasts that if you are going to venture into the backcountry, the proper emergency equipment is to be carried with you at all times.”
UPDATED TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 10:28 A.M.: VSAR confirms the missing sledders have been found safe and sound.
According to VSAR’s Trevor Honigman, the two men are brothers in their 30s who went out Monday morning for a ride to Bouleau Lake, which is above the Fintry area off of Westside Road. They were last heard from at around 10 a.m.
When they did not return, Vernon and Search Rescue was called Monday evening, just as they were finishing a training session at their facility at Highway 6 and Aberdeen Road in Coldstream.
“They had never been out beyond daylight hours before, but they didn’t have a trip planned or any kind of communications to tell anyone they had encountered trouble,” said Honigman.
Teams were out all night and all morning searching for the pair, who, according to Honigman, made it to safety themselves.
“They were found back at their home,” he said. “They got back to their home and we have still yet to find out the full story.”
One thing Honigman is confident of, is that the pair didn’t have a most enjoyable night due to the weather.
“They did not go out overly well-equipped and what little bit of information we had to go on indicated that if they weren’t coming home last night, they were having a very uncomfortable night out. Our teams worked all through the night trying to locate them and our teams came back extremely cold and we were quite well prepared.”
Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP and Vernon Search and Rescue crews are searching for two missing snowmobilers.
Police said the two missing snowmobilers failed to return home Monday, March 4 from the Bouleau Lake area.
More to come.