RCMP say a man and his son who were riding an ATV in the woods “undoubtedly” saved the life of a senior who went missing in southern Alberta on Friday night.
Around 7 p.m., Claresholm RCMP received a call from a 40-year-old Calgary man who was out riding his ATV with his 11-year-old son in Porcupine Hills, located to the west of the small town.
The pair had found the 83-year-old man deep in the wilderness and reported to police that he appeared to be confused and disoriented.
In order to call police for help, the ATV rider had to reach higher ground for cellphone service and at that point lost sight of the senior. Police said the elderly man from Crowsnest Pass was reported missing minutes prior to the call.
Numerous police agencies, including Claresholm RCMP, Fort Macleod RCMP, Willow Creek Emergency Services , which consists of Claresholm and Stavely Fire Departments, Alberta Health Services, Fish and Wildlife, and RCMP Police Dog Services from Lethbridge responded to the area to search for the man.
Using ATVs, at 9:20 p.m., Willow Creek Emergency Services along with the caller located the man and transported him out of the hills to an ambulance waiting nearby.
“Without their actions of calling police and assisting emergency services, the outcome could have been very different,” said Cpl. Dalyn Orsten in a news release.
“The caller, and his 11-year-old son, undoubtedly saved the missing man’s life.”
The man was assessed by EMS and transported back to his family.
RCMP investigators said the senior had been wandering the wilderness for an estimated eight hours after he became disoriented and his vehicle got stuck.
His vehicle, a 2010 dark blue Ford Ranger pickup truck with an Alberta licence plate BZT-4787, has yet to be found. Police say it could be in the Porcupine Hills area or near East Trout Creek or Lyndon Creek. Contact Claresholm RCMP at 403-625-4445 if you see it.