14-year-old and hypothermic woman rescued by Cowichan SAR in two days

14-year-old and hypothermic woman rescued by Cowichan SAR in two days

Freezing temperatures put added pressures on Cowichan Search & Rescue crews this week during two search efforts within two days in the Cowichan Valley.

Pressure was mounting Thursday as searchers assembled to find a 14-year-old Duncan boy who had been missing through the night already.

The teen was last seen by friends in downtown Duncan at 6 p.m. Wednesday and searchers were brought in at 3 a.m. Thursday looking for any signs of him, and tracking possible sightings as cold and heavy fog made hypothermia an urgent concern.

“If somebody is down in this weather, it’s urgent,” said Cowichan Search & Rescue Search Manager, Tina Phillips. “Especially with a young vulnerable person, and the size of this young man, 100 lbs. and having never been out overnight like this.”

Then the boy was found safe and sound at noon on Thursday, 28 kilometres away in Lake Cowichan.

It was the second happy ending for the exhausted searchers after an early morning call-out on Wednesday.

“A woman had taken her dog for a walk earlier in the evening, and the dog came back to the house without the owner. So then we put our teams out to look for her and she was found by the police dog service and they performed first aid and got her back to the waiting ambulance,” said Cowichan Search & Rescue member Jamie Tuway-Cains.

“Halla,” an RCMP Service dog and her handler, tracked the woman’s scent along Westholme Road into an open field where she had fallen. According to BC RCMP the hypothermic patient was then rushed to hospital where to everyone’s relief she was treated and released hours later.

Police Service Dog Halla and her human handler helped locate a hypothermic woman on Nov. 16. (North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP handout)

“Those are the happiest searches obviously?” CHEK News asked Jamie Tuway-Cains.

“They sure are, two in two days. Two in less than two days,” said Tuway-Cains.

So searchers are appealing for people to share their plans with someone before venturing out at night, as this cold spell continues to stretch on.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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