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Coquitlam Search and Rescue mounts first rescue of 2014

Members of the Coquitlam Search and Rescue team pulled two lost youths out of the woods near Cypress Lake Sunday night. New volunteer recruits were among the team of rescuers and this was their first rescue task. - Coquitlam Search and Rescue
Members of the Coquitlam Search and Rescue team pulled two lost youths out of the woods near Cypress Lake Sunday night. New volunteer recruits were among the team of rescuers and this was their first rescue task.
— image credit: Coquitlam Search and Rescue

A couple of seasoned but youthful hikers are home safe and sound after they got lost in the forest on Eagle Mountain and had to be rescued by Coquitlam Search and Rescue Sunday night.

The teens, two brothers aged 16 and 18, had been on a day hike from Buntzen Lake in Anmore to Westwood Plateau in Coquitlam when they lost track of the trail near Cypress Lake.

Coquitlam SAR spokesman Michael Coyle, who also was the task manager for the rescue, said the youths had been on the hike many times but got confused just as dusk was settling in and they made the right call to phone in for help.

"Point in their favor they called for help as soon as realized they were in trouble," Coyle said.

Although they were dressed lightly, unprepared for a night on the mountain, and their phone GPS systems didn't work, their timely call made made it easier for the Coquitlam SAR team to get to them quickly. Within six hours of the call, the 17- person rescue team had located them and the ordeal was wrapped up by 2:30 a.m. Monday morning.

"As it turns out they were on a new trail that wasn't on our map," Coyle said, but the team had good cellular connection with the teens and was able to pinpoint their location.

It was the first rescue of 2014 for Coquitlam SAR, which usually handles between 30 and 40 calls a year, and a first for about 15 new volunteer recruits.

Although it's early in the season for hiking, and there was some snow on the ground, Coyle said sunny weather often attracts trail walkers, which means the local volunteer searchers are on alert when the clouds part an the sun comes out, even in winter.

Monday night's rescue was also made more difficult by the terrain, which flattened a tire on the 8-wheel-drive Argo used on rough logging roads. Still, the boys were in good spirits and didn't complain about the cold, Coyle said.

"They were all OK, we talked to them all in the truck and recommended they buy flashlights, and matches and take a few extra clothes. Clearly they had done it (the trail) many times, but all it takes is one small thing," Coyle said.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

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