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Flares lead rescuers to lost snowmobilers

Revelstoke SAR

Two snowmobilers lost on a Canadian mountain fired flares to attract rescuers.

The pair, from Kelowna, British Columbia, got lost after renting snowmobiles and started running out of fuel.

Roommates Andrew Macleod and Taylor Dumonceaux got lost in a valley with the dark pressing in. The men were cold and wet and build an igloo-like shelter to rest in overnight.

The next morning, they tried to dig the sleds out, but their hands were frozen, so they set out in waist-deep snow trying to go down the mountain to find a trail or help, but without success.

Mr Dumonceaux told the Castanet website, “We couldn’t walk anymore, so we found this tree and it really wasn’t looking good. We really thought we were going to die."

“You lose a lot of hope when you are out there and you don’t know where you are, you are cold, tired, hungry.”

They searched their backpacks and found some flares. Later, a helicopter flew over, but disappeared. A short while after, they heard it again and fired flares. Then, they saw some snowmobiles and lit another flare, says Revelstoke Search and Rescue.

Mr Macleod says, "We just started yelling and screaming and setting off two flares when the helicopter came close. Finally, we heard snowmobiles come close and heard someone yell “hey” and it was the best moment of my life. “It went from hell to heaven within two seconds.”

The two men were examined by BC ambulance staff. They are arranging a gift to thank Revelstoke Search and Rescue crews.

Jan 19, 2018