Two outdoor enthusiasts got into some trouble in the Okanagan backcountry on Saturday, prompting two search and rescue operations just hours apart.
Penticton Search and Rescue said 18 members were dispatched to the Nickel Plate lake area near Apex Mountain ski resort around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday to assist the air ambulance with a medical evacuation.
Search manager Randy Brown said a middle-aged woman was out snowshoeing in the trails when she suffered a medical episode.
“Due to the urgency of the call, Penticton responded with an air evacuation and ground teams, while local ski patrol members from the Nordic and Alpine area responded via snow machine,” he said in a statement.
The woman was airlifted to Penticton Regional Airport where she was transferred to an awaiting ambulance and rushed to the hospital. Her condition is unknown.
Then, just before 4:30 p.m. Saturday, search and rescue crews were called to assist with a lost hiker in the Mahoney Lake area southwest of Okanagan Falls.
“PENSAR called out additional resources and re-routed the Nickel plate teams to the Mahoney Lake area where search teams were sent out on local trails and located the female hiker at 6 p.m. who was cold but in good health,” Brown said.
He added that strong cellphone signals assisted with locating both subjects. Rescuers were able to quickly locate the injured snowshoer because another member of the party provided the team with GPS coordinates from an iPhone compass app.
In the next event, searchers had constant communication with the lot hiker and were able to identify her location.
PENSAR encourages outdoor enthusiasts to be prepared before venturing outside. Brown said recreationists should have a trip plan, take essential goods such as food, water, and extra clothing, as well as locator devices such as a cell phone, compass, and extra batteries.
Brown also urges people to utilize technology like downloading the Trailforks outdoor guide to assist with navigating and rescue efforts, if needed.
For outdoor planning and tips, info go to AdventureSmart.ca.