McCall Lake heli rescue (and new gear cache)

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After almost a year of planning, COSAR was set to unveil their Westside gear cache last evening.

Unfortunately, the ceremony had to wait as the volunteers were called out to search for two missing hikers in the McCall Lake area above Peachland.

A couple from Alberta had successfully made the 300-metre climb to the lake but became disoriented on the braided trails and, after circling the lake twice, they decided to sit, wait, and call for help.

With sunset about a half hour away, RCMP and COSAR decided to use a helicopter to extract the pair.

“It was textbook,” said search manager Duane Tresnich.

“The couple did everything right by sitting and waiting for help. Wandering around in the dark could have led to trouble, as there are trails and cliffs everywhere.

“Interestingly, we had a crew bringing a trailer from our main hall by the Kelowna Airport and another crew bringing in assets from our new West Kelowna gear cache. The West Kelowna team more than a half hour sooner. I think this speaks to the success of the new location.”

COSAR would like to thank Mega Storage for their support and use of their facilities.

This was Central Okanagan Search and Rescue’s 82nd task of the year. We’re on track to break the record of 84 tasks, set in 2020.