A teenage hiker found safe after going missing for more than two days in a Metro Vancouver provincial park is being praised for her preparedness.
Team manager Ryan Smith with Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue says 16-year-old Esther Wang’s physical fitness and planning, as well as good weather, can be credited for her return home.
RCMP Supt. Wendy Mehat says Wang was found around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, and has since gone home with her family after a medical assessment.
Earlier this week, RCMP said the 16-year-old from Langley, B.C., was part of a group of four people who were hiking in Golden Ears Provincial Park on Tuesday.
The group left a lookout point at about 2:45 p.m. to head back to their campground, but about 15 minutes later they noticed that Wang was missing.
Police say the group returned to the viewpoint to look for Wang and when she wasn’t found the leader returned to the entrance of the trail to have a park ranger call police.
The search and rescue team confirmed Thursday that a search was underway involving a helicopter, a drone and teams of rescuers from across the Lower Mainland.
“Esther did take precautions. She did have food and water. She did appear to stop and then think, orientate herself and planned accordingly,” Smith told a news conference Friday, calling her “a very determined young lady.”
“It took quite a while to get out, but she is out and she’s safe, which is the best outcome we could hope for.”
Smith said 16 rescue teams were involved in the search.
Mehat said Wang was unharmed “apart from some mosquito bites.”
She said authorities have not yet spoken to the girl in depth, but intend to start gathering all the facts.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2023.