UPDATE: Helicopter deployed for 17 campers stranded northeast of Coquitlam

The campers are stuck near Widgeon Lake, according to president of Coquitlam Search and Rescue

Coquitlam Search and Rescue teams have pulled out seven of 17 campers stranded on the shores of Widgeon Lake. 

A Search and Rescue team arrived by Talon helicopter at noon to collect the campers, none of which have reported any injuries.

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The campers chartered a float plane to the lake, but when they were due to be picked up, the plane couldn't reach them due to bad weather.

"Running out of supplies they made the difficult decision to call for help," wrote Coquitlam Search and Rescue in a Tweet.

The SAR team has brought the group of seven to Grant Narrows, at which point they'll fall under the purview of Coquitlam RCMP.

"17 people is defintitely an unusual number for us," said Coquitlam Search and Rescue president Tom Zajac.

The remaining 10 stranded campers were given extra supplies and the pilot of the helicopter has contacted a private float plane company informing them of a short window of good weather. Zajac said is expects a float plane to collect the remaining 10 campers this afternoon.

The lake, which sits roughly 20 kilometres northeast of the city, can generally be accessed through a 16-kilometre trail from the Widgeon Creek campsite. But in the case of the 17 stranded campers, initial reports indicate that the group is on the wrong side of the lake and cannot leave the area on foot, according to Zajac.

Widgeon Lake is about 20 kilometres as the helicopter flies northeast of Coquitlam.
Widgeon Lake is about 20 kilometres as the helicopter flies northeast of Coquitlam. - alltrails.com

Coquitlam Search and Rescue has been particularly busy in recent weeks. In one 20-hour period last week, rescue teams were called to four rescues.

More to come…

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