Scouts who were trapped during weekend camping trip near Sooke safely leave area


The group of Scouts and a leader who became trapped in a remote area near Sooke when the creek they crossed became too high to return have now safely left the area.

The group of five made it out of the woods with search and rescue crews at around 4:45 p.m. All were in good spirits and uninjured.

Rescue crews had found the group on Sunday. The four Scouts, who are between the ages of 11 and 14, and one leader were staying at their campsite until water levels dropped in the creek. The children are now being reunited with their

Two other Scouts leaders, a man and a woman, who had left the group to go for help were found alive Monday afternoon.

Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue was called shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday to the Jordan River area near the dam.

Lisa Nilsson and Peter Kenmare were able to camp overnight in a tent in the wind, rain and snow before they were found on Monday. Nilsson had injured her knee but rescue teams were able to meet both leaders on Monday afternoon.

“We got caught in the storm yesterday, so we ended up hunkering down,” Nilsson said.

Kenmare said their outdoor training and being together helped them out.

“That’s what’s important is understanding and making those judgment calls and relying on experience, relying on the people around you to stay safe,” Nilsson added.

Search and rescue manager Kathryn Farr said one of the group’s members found the two adults on Monday afternoon.

She said three members drove into the forest with two utility terrain vehicles to find the two leaders and bring them back to safety.

Vickie Webber, search manager for Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue, said they received a call came from a firefighter who was part of the hiking group that was expecting the missing people. The Scouts leader who stayed with the children also had a radio to call for help.

Rescue crews found the rest of the group on Sunday. The five Scouts, who are between the ages of 11 and 14, and the remaining leader were staying at their campsite until water levels dropped in the creek. As of Monday afternoon, rescue crews were working on getting the kids and the leader out of the area.

“We got to the five kids with their leader, but conditions were too treacherous to evacuate them out,” Webber said in a statement on Monday.

“SAR teams had to make their way through from the other side of the ridge to reach them,” she said. “It was a steep, thick forest, and very difficult hike. They found all the kids tucked warmly and safely inside their tents, sound asleep – with the adult leader pacing in the wind and driving rain.”

The search began as a storm brought wind and rain to British Columbia’s south coast. Earlier in the day, Environment Canada issued wind warnings for Greater Victoria and the west coast of the island, saying gusts as high as 100 km/h were possible in the area where crews are searching.

With files from CBC and The Canadian Press

This is a developing story. Please check back for more information.


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