Talon Helicopters searched in the darkness using night vision equipment. (Special to The NEWS)

Talon Helicopters searched in the darkness using night vision equipment. (Special to The NEWS)

Hunter spends night in wild after falling into the Pitt River, getting washed downstream

Flagged down boaters and returned on Sunday morning

The disappearance of a hunter who got washed downstream by the Pitt River sparked a search effort on Saturday night.

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue manager Rick Laing said the team got the call on Saturday about an overdue hunter on the upper Pitt River.

The 37-year-old man had left a hunting party, and apparently went in the river and fell, and was washed downstream by the current.

His friends searched for him, then reported him missing, and last seen at 10 a.m.

The Search and Rescue team looked for the man near the isolated community known of Alvin north of Pitt Lake, searching the area and conducting interviews, said Laing.

The team was pulled out as darkness descended. But the weather was warm, he said, and the search was continued by Talon Helicopters, who had an aircraft searching equipped with night vision. They were unable to spot the missing man.

READ ALSO: Calls to search and rescue groups surge in B.C. as COVID-19 pushes people outdoors

READ ALSO: Out-of-towners assist RCMP locate body of missing jet skier in Maple Ridge

The man spent the night in the wild, then on Sunday morning flagged down a passing jet boat, and was able to rejoin his hunting party. He was reported found to Coquitlam RCMP at about 9:30 a.m., and his condition was “fine and well.”

Laing said the man was “very, very fortunate” to have survived his falling in the strong current, and water that would be icy cold freshet, to the melting source.


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