A search for a missing hiker near McIntyre Bluffs south of Okanagan Falls turned into a recovery mission for Penticton & District Search & Rescue (PENSAR) on Tuesday, Aug. 29.
On Monday afternoon, Penticton Search and Rescue was asked by Oliver RCMP to help in the search for a missing hiker.
PENSAR duty manager Ron Berlie deployed 13 SAR personnel, including a canine team from Central Okanagan Search & Rescue (COSAR) and a helicopter from Topflight Helicopters to assist in the search.
Searchers covered a large and complex area, including steep terrain, cliffs, unstable slopes, and the nearby Okanagan River. After eight hours of searching and with darkness settling in, the search was suspended until Tuesday.
The next morning, RCMP officials received new information and PENSAR was re-engaged to transition the response from a search to a recovery effort.
They had six search and rescue specialists and a Topflight helicopter to carry out the technical operation, which took most of the day. This operation was highly visible from Highway 97 and nearby neighbourhoods.
PENSAR thanked COSAR’s canine team and Topflight Helicopters for providing their support, and for the public for being respectful during the recovery operation.
“PENSAR offers the sincerest of condolences to the family and friends of the hiker,” they said in a release.
The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are continuing their investigation.
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