Man rescued from frigid northwestern B.C. swamp

Landowner alerted after hearing faint pleas for help

This satellite photo shows the location where search and rescue found a man in a swamp after several hours.

A man is lucky to be alive after getting stuck in a swamp filled with five-foot-high reeds for several hours while Terrace Search and Rescue team members first had to find him in the darkness and then struggled to get him out.

“Combined with darkness and not being able to see and weeds taller than you are, it was very difficult to find the person, who didn’t have any lights on him,” said Carman Hendry, whose place out on Goodwin Road off of Old Lakelse Lake Road was the site for the latest search and rescue.

Hendry said that after putting the goats to bed at his hobby farm, his wife said she heard a very faint call for help – that was at about 6:15 p.m. and it was dark already.

He called police and when they arrived, he got on his ATV and took the officers out to the swamp.

“The police also listened and heard someone calling for help,” said Hendry.

“Down in the swamp, it’s very funny, sounds jump off all over the place depending on which way your head is facing. It sounded like he was calling from a number of different places.”

Terrace Search and Rescue arrived around 9:30 p.m. or so and it took them until about midnight to get the man out, said Hendry.

The swamp depth varies from about six inches to about three or four feet and the reeds are about five feet high, he added.

A thermal bag was used to keep the man warm after he was taken out of the swamp as he was sopping wet and the bag would help keep his body temperature up, said Hendry.

“Much kudos to search and rescue and the police, who believed somebody was out there,” he said.

It’s believed the man was out mushroom picking, a popular past time in northwestern B.C. at this time of year.