New details are emerging in the wake of that incredible survival story coming out of the mid-Island.
67 year old Irene Paquet survived 6 days and 5 nights lost in the wilderness of an area known as Copper Canyon, before searchers found her disoriented and weak, immobile at the bottom of an embankment. Now a clearer picture of what she faced out there is emerging.
When Chad Bergman set out in the woods on his dirt bike from Youbou, he never thought what he’d come across would spark up a search and rescue of a missing senior.
But a series of wrong turns put him in just the right place to find Irene Paquet’s car.
“A lot of luck yeah,” says Bergman. “When we found the car we thought what the heck is this you know doing here.”
When he got home he connected the car he snapped pictures of to posts about missing Irene Paquet on Facebook.
“Posted the pictures on the site and everybody’s like that’s the car and bam, bam bam it happened from there. Yeah,” says Bergman.
Kickstarting the search that would find her Thursday. 50 kilometres along remote, steep and washed out logging roads from the gate it turns out she became locked behind Saturday, after the Chemainus senior got lost on her way home from grocery shopping.
“Probably got lost a bit, came back the gate was closed and she thought what do I do now,” says her daughter Celeste Paquet.
Before she tried to drive out on the complex maze of logging roads that is the Island back country, and got lost for six days.
“I’m amazed at her strength. I don’t know what she was doing out there for six days. I don’t know how she managed to keep herself going for six days,” says her daughter Carrie Paquet.
74-year-old Darlene Douglas has been in the area Paquet was lost in. She and her son used to hunt in the same back country searchers found the senior in where both wolves and bears are common.
“I’m telling you I wouldn’t want to be stuck in there by myself I’d be terrified,” says Douglas, a Chemainus resident. “Ohhh. Even just the though gives me the willies you know and you’ve been up there. Oh lots.”
Leaving Bergman and all who played a part in Paquet’s rescue, glad they could help get her out of there but in awe of what this senior must be made of.
“You realize though that if you hadn’t been on that road this would be a totally different story? Yeah big time,” says Paquet.
Irene Paquet is still recovering in Nanaimo hospital.