Coquitlam SAR rescue solo hiker near Buntzen Lake

A solo hiker in his late 20s was walked to safety before midnight on Friday night

Coquitlam Search and Rescue had a late night Friday, May 31, when a hiker stranded on the Diez Vistas trail near Buntzen Lake was overtaken by nightfall. 

The solo hiker, a man in his late 20s, called 911 at about 9 p.m. A short time later, Michael Coyle of Coquitlam Search and Rescue pinged the lost man a text message with a link that gives the search team access to the phone’s GPS location.

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Through the location software, they were able to figure the man was about 20 to 30 metres below Punto del Este, a lookout on the Diez Vistas trail that overlooks the main beach at Buntzen Lake.

“He reported that he didn’t know where he was and it was getting dark,” Coyle told The Tri-City News.

Shortly before 11 p.m., Coyle Tweeted out that they had made voice contact with the hiker, saying that he was uninjured but cold and shivering. 

“I was consoling him, ‘They’re getting close. They’re only about 20 min away,’” said Coyle. 

By around 11:30 p.m., members of the search and rescue team had located the man and spent the next hour walking the stranded hiker out of the forest.

 

While Coyle said he didn’t want to place any blame on the victim, he also noted the whole episode offers yet another lesson in what not to do when hiking.

“He was just shivering in the dark. All he had was his phone,” said Coyle. “A flashlight would have made all the difference.” 

The rescue effort comes on the heels of a high profile search for two missing children who were stranded on Burke Mountain after they fell down a ravine. The father, who had planned to take the children on a fishing trip, was injured himself, and left them overnight in the forest when he went to raise the alarm. 

In the end, the children were hoisted off the mountain by a helicopter and longline.

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