Two children from the United States have been rescued after surviving a night alone in a forested area of Burke Mountain in Coquitlam, B.C.
RCMP say the 6-year-old girl and 7-year old boy and their father fell down a “steep, treacherous cliff” near Munro Lake late Sunday. Search crews said the father and children were going fishing when they wandered away from the trail and got lost.
RCMP said the injured father made the difficult climb back up the hill to go for help. Once reaching the top, he hiked for 1-2 kilometers in dense forest until he had cell phone reception and called for help. The children were rescued by helicopter just after 8:30 am PT on Monday.
Coquitlam RCMP Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik said the children were conscious when the father made the decision to leave the children. He was worried the climb would be too dangerous for the children. He made sure they were wrapped in the warmest clothes possible and told them not to move until he returned with help.
Coquitlam Search and Rescue manager Ian MacDonald told reporters that the children were cold but did not sustain any injuries. The children where found where they were left by the father and hadn’t moved.
Search and rescue teams from Coquitlam, Maple Ridge and the North Shore were called to the mountain to search for the two youngsters, and used a helicopter, drone and police dog in the search.
The children were immediately reunited with their father and mother and are in stable condition after being treated for exposure.
For the family, it’s a miracle — but for hikers MacDonald says it’s a lesson to avoid going off the trail and always plan for an emergency by leaving a trip plan and expected return time with friends or relatives.