Tamara Hynd/Fernie Free Press
Fernie Search and Rescue (FSAR) were called out at 1:30 a.m. on July 4 to look for a missing fisherman on Lake Koocanusa.
The 85-year-old man had been due back at 8 p.m. at his camp at Surveyor’s Lake on Wednesday. When he failed to show up, his camp mates called 911 to alert the RCMP of the missing man.
RCMP officers searched sections of the lake in the dark and were joined by search and rescue members from Fernie and Kimberley at 6:30 a.m. to continue the search.
A helicopter from Ascent Helicopters assisted the search, and the man’s boat was rapidly located. RCMP officers boarded the vessel to discover the occupant in good health and unaware of the search he had caused by choosing to spend the night out without alerting his friends.
“SAR has been extremely busy over the past two weeks with one call-out every two days on average. Four of the call-outs were all-day missions and one was all night,” said FSAR Manager Simon Piney.
Piney added, “As a voluntary group this puts a lot of demands on our members – we are lucky to have so many people willing to put their lives on hold to help others.”