TERRACE Search and Rescue started its new year with a five-day search for a missing Prince Rupert man, a rollover of a search vehicle and the rescue of an injured skier in the backcountry.
On January 5, at approximately 1 p.m, Terrace SAR crews located the licence plate and trunk lid of a vehicle matching the description of the missing person’s vehicle, the remaining portion of the vehicle is believed to have entered the water near Galloway Rapids Bridge, said Terrace Search and Rescue manager Dwayne Sheppard.
Immediately after locating the parts of the vehicle, the Prince Rupert RCMP were notified.
This discovery ended the five-day extensive search where searchers covered all 138 km of the highway between Prince Rupert and Terrace, said Sheppard.
Many of the assignments included foot searches alongside the highway.
“It’s important that we search the areas on foot,” said Sheppard.
“This allowed us to pay more attention to details such as skid marks, damage to trees etc., and ultimately this paid off in the end for the team. The debris that was located by Terrace SAR members was only visible by people on the ground that were carefully looking for any evidence.”
One of the last assignments was to fly the search area from Terrace to the Exchamsiks Bridge to research the previously searched area during the initial hasty search on January 1, he said.
Each day during the search, Terrace crews travelled to Prince Rupert to search; on the third day, one of the Kitimat search and rescue mutual aid crews rolled their pickup on the slippery highway, said Sheppard.
“The vehicle was severely damaged but luckily no one was injured in the crash,” he said.
The Terrace Search and Rescue crew spent 229 hours conducting 17 searches along the highway corridor, said Sheppard.
Before crews retuned to Terrace, an additional request came from the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS).
At 2:14 p.m., BCAS asked Terrace SAR to evacuate an injured skier from Shames Mountain backcountry – North Bowl.
Search and rescue organized four team members, one Avalanche Tech II, one paramedic and two avalanche response trained team members for the search.
Two friends of the skier had prepared a helipad at the site.
The injured skier was found and transported by helicopter to paramedics at the Hwy 16 and Shames Mountain Forest Service Road.
After paramedics took the skier, the search and rescue crew returned to Terrace and readied their equipment for the next deployment.