May 20, 2019 1:40 pm
Updated: May 21, 2019 12:49 am

Two children saved in dramatic rescue in Coquitlam

WATCH: Coquitlam search and rescue successfully located and saved two children who got stuck while hiking on Burke Mountain overnight.


Two young children were rescued Monday after spending the night alone on Burke Mountain in Coquitlam.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik says the drama began late Sunday afternoon when the boy and girl, aged 6 and 7, were heading down a trail with their father.

“All three, unfortunately, ended up falling down a steep treacherous cliff and the father was able to make the difficult climb up the cliff while injured to get help and made the difficult decision to leave the two kids on a plateau feeling that it was too dangerous for the kids to follow him up.”

WATCH: Two children rescued after spending night in woods

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While going for help, he bumped into another hiker who called 911.

Multiple search and rescue teams across the region responded, and the children were found around 8 a.m. on Monday and long-lined to safety by a helicopter.

“We found a pack, found some shoes and then found the two kids laying in a flat area but in an extremely steep gully. It was logs criss-crossing and a waterfall above them,” Alan Hurley of Coquitlam Search and Rescue said.
Officials say the children suffered minor injuries as did their father.

Coquitlam Search and Rescue Manager Ian MacDonald say they are grateful the six-year-old girl and seven-year-old boy weren’t seriously injured.

“Well, you can imagine that all of us, you know, we’ve got kids and then it was really elation because this is very rugged terrain where they were lost, so we were just very, very thankful that they were found alive.”

WATCH: Kids rescued from Burke Mountain in Coquitlam

Mother Claire Hoogstra said she “prayed all night” that her kids would be found safe.

She says her husband and kids ran into snow on their hike and that caused them to lose the trail. They were walking along a narrow path, holding hands, when one slipped and then they all fell into a river below.

“My daughter and son each may have hit a rock… and probably my husband too but miraculously they were OK. My husband said it was about a 10-foot fall.”

Hoogstra said her husband made the difficult decision to hike out to find cellphone service so he could call for help.

She said the trio figured if they all waited for help, it may never come since they were off the trail.

READ MORE: Young man found after wandering away from Okanagan campsite, spending night in the backcountry

The kids and their father were visiting from the state of Georgia and were hiking into a lake on Burke Mountain to go fishing.

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