Members of the Bay of Islands Search and Rescue were successful last week in locating two lost hikers in the Blow Me Down mountains.
The team said in a prepared release it responded to a call at 9:30 p.m. on July 5 from the RCMP to assist in locating the hikers, who were both men.
Garry MacKenzie, training co-ordinator and assistant coordinator for the team, said the two had been hiking in the area since earlier that morning with the intention of finishing down the Cape Blow Me Down trail (formerly Copper Mine to Cape). Shortly before sunset, they lost the trail and were under-prepared to be out overnight.
With intermittent cellphone service, they were able to contact 911 for help and provide the search team with an approximate location. High wind gusts and cooling temperatures forced them to move further down the mountain, into the treeline, where they were able to start a fire to provide some warmth and help signal searchers above.
At midnight, a search team ascended the Cape Blow Me Down trail, traversed the peak and located the pair at about 4 a.m. on the northeast face of the mountain. One of the hikers was assessed to be mildly hypothermic and suffering from muscle cramps due to dehydration.
Team members warmed and rehydrated the men but, given their condition, the terrain, possible weather and risk of further injury, a helicopter was requested for evacuation.
At 7:15 a.m., a helicopter arrived from Universal Helicopters in Pasadena and safely extracted the hikers and team members. One Bay of Islands Search and Rescue Team member suffered a minor leg injury during the operation.
Mackenzie said the team reminds everyone the importance of the three T’s: Training, Trip Planning and Taking the 10 Essentials. For more information, visit boisar.org or adventuresmart.ca. or on Facebook at BOISARNL.