“This can happen to anybody, [the] back country is right at our doorstep,” said Annette Poitras before taking the stage for the ‘Survive Outside Program’ by BC Adventure Smart (BCAS) at the Justice Institute of B.C. Friday night.
“I was only intending to go for an hour walk.”
The Coquitlam dog walker went missing on November 20, and was found alive on November 22 after spending more than 48 hours in the woods of Eagle Mountain.
Trying to hold back tears, Poitras shared her story of survival.
“I want everyone to know what can happen, and I want everyone to support your search and rescue. I mean, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here. I really wouldn’t be here. It wasn’t the helicopters, it was the search and rescue, on the ground, risking their lives.”
She said the day she was found near Burke Mountain there was so much rain the search and rescue members had to be rescued themselves.
She also had advice for anybody planning to head out into the wilderness.
“Think twice before you go out there,” She added.
“Make sure you have what you need if you happen to be in a fall, or an accident, make sure you’ve got stuff for overnight and let everyone know where you’re going. I didn’t tell my husband where I was going.”
5-year Surrey Search and Rescue member Kira M’Lot also attended the event, and said she was there when crews found Poitras.
“It was just a very emotional day and an incredible feeling. [It was] actually one of my first searches that I’ve been there when we’ve actually found the subject in good condition, in good spirits.”
“The emotions were high that day, and it was just an incredible experience to be there. Just an overwhelming feeling of joy to hear that Annette had been found and to see her coming out okay.”
According to BCAS, B.C.’s 80 search and rescue teams are staffed by 2500 volunteers, which respond to 1600 incidents every year.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.