Rescued snowmobilers ill-prepared for emergency, Castlegar RCMP say

Two men rescued Wednesday night were not ready for overnight in back country

Another successful save by Search and Rescue on Wednesday night. (File image)

Search and rescue teams had to be called out Wednesday night to find two snowmobilers stranded in the backcountry near Castlegar.

Police in Castlegar say they got a call just after 7 p.m. Wednesday, and were told two men were overdue from an day trip on their snowmobiles.

“Fortunately the pair had informed family members where they were heading,” said Sgt. Darren Oelke.

He explained Castlegar and Grand Forks search and rescue teams went to the Rialto Forest Service Road, about 10 km northwest of the city, and were able to follow fresh snowmobile tracks from the men’s vehicle.

They found the men at about 11:30 p.m., nearly 30 kilometres from their vehicle.

“Both snowmobiles had broken down,” Oelke said. “The men tried to hike to a cabin only to find it had been destroyed.

“They did manage to start a fire and planned to wait until daylight to hike out.”

Oelke added the men were not well-prepared for their outing, were not dressed appropriately for spending a night outdoors and had no emergencies supplies or equipment.

One man suffered frostbite to his toes and was taken to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail by ambulance.

Police are reminding snowmobilers heading into the backcountry to be fully prepared for their trip.

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