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Nanaimo RCMP police service dog tracks down lost hiker

Luthor sniffs out trail to 75-year-old man lost in near-freezing temperatures in Brannen Lake area
Nanaimo RCMP police service dog Luthor is credited with tracking down a hiker who had become lost and wet in near-freezing temperatures in the woods near Nanaimo last week. (Photo submitted)

A Nanaimo RCMP police dog followed its nose to a hiker who became lost in the trails in the Brannen Lake area.

According to an RCMP press release, a 75-year-old Nanaimo man called police for help Friday, Jan. 28, at about 7:45 p.m.

The man had been hiking a trail off of Vipond Road and had become disoriented. He also told dispatchers he was very wet, so police became concerned for his well-being as the temperature had dropped to 1 C.

Const. Dave Hough, with Nanaimo RCMP police dog service, and police dog Luthor arrived in the area shortly after 8:30 p.m. to help officers already on scene and had narrowed down the search area using the hiker’s cellphone GPS.

Hough hiked with Luthor down a logging road to the trail system. The dog tracked trails for about 350 metres, then veered into the bush where he sniffed out the hiker about 200 metres away from the trail.

The man was uninjured and was escorted back to police vehicles.

“We applaud the gentleman for calling the police,” said Const. Sherri Wade, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, in the press release. “Sometimes, it’s hard to admit that we are lost and, as a police officer, I am always pleased when a [police dog service] officer and their canine partner arrive on the scene. They are highly skilled teams and extremely effective.”

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