West Shore RCMP is reminding hikers to stay put when they call for help after it took four hours to locate a pair of hikers in Highlands’ trails on Sunday, Nov. 17. (Twitter/@DustypupVI)

West Shore RCMP spend four hours searching for roving hikers

RCMP say stay put once you’ve called for help and listen to instructions

West Shore RCMP reminds hikers to stay put when they call for help after it took four hours to locate a pair on Highlands trails Sunday.

Two hikers called the West Shore RCMP around 2:45 p.m. when they determined they were lost in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park.

Though officers were sent right away, they had difficulty locating them as they kept walking around. South Island search and rescue were just called in when the officers finally found the pair after 6:30 p.m. – they were on Cascade Trail in Central Saanich.

ALSO READ: Island SAR team finds hikers stranded in Strathcona Park at 4:30 a.m.

“We use cellphone tracking technology to pinpoint your location,” said Const. Nancy Saggar, media relations officer for West Shore RCMP.

“We rely on those in distress to stay put. If you move, we have to start the search all over again. This makes it really difficult to find hikers who don’t listen to our instructions.”

Luckily, the hikers were prepared with clothing, food, and water. The pair were warned by officers to avoid becoming a moving target.

READ MORE: West Shore RCMP find lost hiker in Thetis Lake Park five hours after reported missing

A similar incident took place at Thetis Lake Regional Park on Aug. 31 when an individual called West Shore RCMP around 10 p.m. saying he was lost. Officers didn’t find him until 3 a.m. because he kept walking around.

He didn’t have a shirt, food or water, according to Saggar.

“If you haven’t been to a hiking trail before and can’t find your way, then call the police,” Saggar said.

“It’s better you reach us when you have cell service, rather than lose it and have no other option but to begin roaming around. If you lose cell service, take a moment and walk until you find cell service and we will do our best to help.”

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
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