'Miraculous rescue': Siblings saved after getting trapped overnight on B.C. mountain
Two young children who spent the night stranded on Burke Mountain in Coquitlam, B.C., were brought to safety by rescue crews on Monday. Their injured father had been forced to leave them to find help.
Search and rescue crews had spent the night trying to track the children down, using a drone and helicopter to help.
The family had been visiting from the U.S. state of Georgia and, before getting lost, had been planning on going to nearby Munro Lake for some fishing.
But the trio had gotten off track and slipped down into a steep creek bed area on Sunday, according to Coquitlam Search and Rescue search manager Ian MacDonald.
“It was kind of a miraculous rescue,” he said during a press conference.
“[The father] was not that familiar with the terrain … it was not on a trail at all, so any landmarks and signposts were really not there.”
Despite being injured, the father left the children and after walking approximately one to two kilometres, he found a fellow hiker with a cell phone and called for help.
But the children -- a seven-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl -- ended up spending a cold night stuck on a plateau terrain, as ground and air crews set out to find them.
Coquitlam Search and Rescue team member Al Hurley said his crews didn’t want to give up. “You’re hoping you hear this little voice in the darkness,” he said, describing how workers searched throughout the night,” he said.
Rescue crews eventually came upon a blue backpack, then shoes, which MacDonald compared to a “trail of breadcrumbs” that helped lead rescuers to the children Monday morning.
"Due to the very rugged nature of the terrain we found them in, a decision was made to longline them out," MacDonald said, describing how the children were essentially airlifted out of the area.
Hurley said the children “didn’t say much but they were grinning when we lifted off – so it was pretty cool.”
The children were then reunited with their father and a waiting ambulance. MacDonald said the young children appeared to be doing well, despite suffering minor injuries.
The trio were admitted in Monday morning and then released from hospital by the afternoon.
The children’s father and mother later told CTV News Vancouver they was proud of their children for being so brave. The father said his children did exactly what they were supposed to: stay together, while he went off to get help.
He also thanked rescue crews and RCMP for their efforts and said the family was hoping to go home and rest.
Once the children were located this morning, they were long lined out - in very good condition considering the ordeal they had been through. pic.twitter.com/cW6cRjAoUp— Coquitlam SAR (@CoquitlamSAR) May 20, 2019
WATCH: Amazing team effort as an all night search lead to this long line rescue from @taloncopters, and the moment this father is reunited with one of his kids after spending a cold night stranded and lost outside. @CoquitlamSAR @NSRescue @RidgeMeadowsSAR @CTVVancouver pic.twitter.com/I6fD2zpkED— Sheila Scott (@Sheila_Scott) May 20, 2019