Members of the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) with their side-by-side vehicle that helped bring a lost hiker out of Sumas Mountain Regional Park on Jan. 9, 2020. (Photo altered by APD.)

Members of the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) with their side-by-side vehicle that helped bring a lost hiker out of Sumas Mountain Regional Park on Jan. 9, 2020. (Photo altered by APD.)

Helicopter and dying cellphone help locate lost hiker in Abbotsford

Hiker on Sumas Mountain stranded in challenging area with no road access

A cellphone light was part of the success of a rescue mission on Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford on Saturday night (Jan. 9).

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) said a hiker had become lost in a challenging area of the mountain with no road access at about 5 p.m. Their officers were called out along with the Air One police helicopter after the hiker called 911.

While the battery was dying on the hiker’s phone, officers were able to spot the cellphone light from about 10 kilometres away. They used night-vision goggles and also acquired the hiker’s GPS location.

As the helicopter arrived, the hiker’s phone died.

The APD said the helicopter pilot was able to find a clearing to land, and the tactical flight officer hiked in the darkness to the hiker’s location.

“The officer located and safely brought the cold and hungry hiker back to the helicopter, where they were able to provide the hiker warmth and support,” a release said. “The (APD) side-by-side gator met the helicopter and transported the hiker back to safety.”

“The cellphone light was a beacon of hope for this hiker in such darkness in the wilderness,” said the Air One helicopter’s tactical flight officer, Const. Shane Wiens. “Please make sure you are prepared with clothing for the climate, food and a flashlight with spare batteries.”

Search manager Lee Holeczek with Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue Society reminds outdoor enthusiasts to be prepared for anything and to remember the three T’s:

• Trip plan – tell someone responsible where you are going and when you are expected to come back.

• Training – ensure you have the proper training for the outdoor activity you are doing.

• Take the essentials – make sure you take the 10 essentials minimum when heading to the backcountry. For a list of the 10 essentials visit adventuresmart.ca.

READ MORE: Chilliwack Search and Rescue ready to recruit a few new members


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