Trent Ernst, Editor
Two Tumbler Ridge residents are home, safe and sound, after the vehicle they were traveling in became stuck near Kinuseo Falls over the weekend.
Early Sunday morning, March 30, Tumbler Ridge RCMP received a report that two men were overdue from their residences, having left the previous evening.
Tumbler Ridge Search and Rescue Manager Sarah Waters says that the two individuals had left to go out for a drive at about 10:00 the previous evening. “They had gone out previously, and had a couple locations they liked to go, but all we knew was they were out to drive around. Not having a destination made the search very difficult.”
With the assistance of Tumbler Ridge Search and Rescue, the RCMP began searching for the missing parties ensued. Four SAR teams were out searching for the missing men, as was one RCMP patrol vehicle. It was the latter, driven by Constable Joe Mogg, who ultimately located the men shortly after 10:00 am, at the 35 km mark of the Murray Forest Service Road. Aside from being a little hungry, both were in good health.
The two missing men explained that while near Kinuseo Falls, the vehicle they were traveling in became stuck in snow. They made several attempts to free the vehicle, however after becoming tired and wet, decided to spend the night in the vehicle and walk out in the morning. They began walking out at approximately 6:30 a.m.
Waters says they actually had a call in to PEP Air out of Prince George, because it was such a large search area. “They were about to take off when the two men were found,” she says.
The two individuals had been exercising their pets and came back to drop them off. Indicated to one wife that something had happened to one of the dogs, and they were going to drive around and talk about it, says Waters.
Waters says that it isn’t unusual for people to get stuck on the Murray FSR at this time of year. “What’s common is they go out in the morning when the road is firm, but as the day warms up it becomes difficult to travel as the snow softens or the frozen mud melts.”
The two only intended to be out a few hours, and were not prepared to spend the night, something she says everyone needs to be prepared for in the winter. “Even if you don’t have an emergency box,” she says, “at least make sure to grab a couple granola bars and a warm jacket. Lot’s of people think they can go a little farther, or become stuck trying to turn around on a narrow road.”
Waters says she’s heard rumours that the road was plowed this winter, but it hasn’t been.
She says that, even if just going out for a drive, there are three important things to remember: First, she says, tell someone where you are, just in case. Second, bring along some food and water, and finally, bring along some weather-appropriate clothing.