The RCMP have confirmed that a 43 year old man from Maple Ridge, BC has died as a result of being caught in an avalanche during a snowmobile excursion mid day Tuesday December 28.
The slide occurred at around noon, north west of Tulameen, after the 12 sledders were traveling along a trail area. The avalanche came down between the group, sweeping the one man down the mountain side. All of the group were properly equipped with rescue recovery gear and were all wearing GPS locator beacons. None of the other individuals suffered any physical injuries.
One member of the group headed to the Coquihalla toll booth area, for cell coverage to summons help, while the remainder immediately began searching for the buried man. The machine was partially buried and the group utilized a beacon locator to extricate the buried man. Immediate CPR efforts failed to revive the man who had been buried for approximately fifteen minutes.
The Hope RCMP received the report and immediately activated the search and recovery recovery effort and were assisted by the Princeton RCMP. Search and Rescue Teams from Hope and Chilliwack mustered at the toll booth location shortly after the call, where the area snow conditions were assessed by a fly over by an Avalanche Technician. Due to the snow conditions it was deemed unsafe to perform a recovery of the man’s body today.
"The RCMP victim assistance workers are currently providing support to the affected family. The deceased was with his father along with another extended family member amongst the group who were all from the Lower Mainland area of BC. The man’s name is being withheld at this time to permit family to notify extended family members of the tragic loss" stated Cpl Dan Moskaluk.
Search and recovery efforts by the RCMP and both the Hope and Chilliwack Search and Rescue teams are set to resume tomorrow morning.