Three British Columbia residents are healthy and warm thanks to quick actions by others in two separate New Year’s Eve rescues in the province’s southern Interior.
RCMP near the southeastern community of Invermere say one of two skiers caught in an avalanche on Dec. 31 was completely buried, but his companion spotted his hand and was able to dig him out.
Paramedics determined the buried skier was unhurt.
Just hours later near the north Okanagan city of Vernon, rescuers fanned out after two boys, aged five and seven, wandered away from a community bonfire.
Vernon Search and Rescue spokesman Leigh Pearson says the boys had only been missing for about 45 minutes, but darkness had fallen and temperatures had dipped to around -20 C.
Twenty-two searchers raced to find the children and eventually located them, cold but unhurt, in a deep ravine.
Pearson says two rescuers on snowmobiles made the timely discovery.
“(They) could hear some dogs barking and they thought, well, they’ve got to be barking at something, so they stopped their snowmobiles and yelled for the kids and, lo and behold, one of them answered back.”
Pearson says the boys were fine after being warmed up and checked out by paramedics.