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Helicopter rescue for Alberta couple lost while hiking near Peachland, B.C.

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue said the couple were hiking in the McCall Lake area above Peachland became disoriented on the trails. After circling a lake twice, they decided to call for help. Central Okanagan Search and Rescue

A helicopter was used to rescue an Alberta couple that got lost while hiking in the Central Okanagan on Thursday evening.

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) said the couple was hiking in the McCall Lake area above Peachland and had successfully made the 300-metre climb to the lake.

However, they became disoriented on the braided trails, and, after circling the lake twice, they decided to sit, wait and call for help.

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With sunset about a half-hour away, RCMP and COSAR decided to use a helicopter to extract the pair.

“It was textbook,” search manager Duane Tresnich said of the rescue.

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“The couple did everything right by sitting and waiting for help. Wandering around in the dark could have led to trouble, as there are trails and cliffs everywhere.”

COSAR said the rescue took place just before the organization was about to unveil its cache of gear on the Westside.

The unveiling, a year in the planning, had to wait, with volunteers being called out to rescue the couple.

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“Interestingly, we had a crew bringing a trailer from our main hall by the Kelowna airport and another crew bringing in assets from our new West Kelowna gear cache,” Tresnich said of the rescue site.

“The West Kelowna team (arrived) more than a half-hour sooner. I think this speaks to the success of the new location.”

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COSAR said this was its 82nd task of the year, just two shy of the record-setting 84 it had in 2020.

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