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Man in distress tracked for hours by RCMP, police dogs in Chilliwack River Valley

‘Determination’ of RCMP combing back country near Chilliwack Lake likely saved man’s life

RCMP officers tracked a man in distress through the Chilliwack River Valley for hours last Thursday, likely saving his life, police say.

Shortly after noon on Jan. 13, RCMP received a report of a man “acting erratically,” on Chilliwack Lake Road who appeared to be in significant mental health distress before taking off into the bush.

Officers rushed to the scene with police service dogs to search the heavily wooded area near the Chilliwack Lake Campground.

They ended up following the track for almost 13 kilometres through deep snow to find the 33-year-old resident of Langley, who was not dressed warmly to face the elements.

“Determination, local area knowledge and experience in back country recreation were key in the search,” said RCMP Cpl. Mike Rail, spokesperson for the Chilliwack RCMP.

Police say it was a team effort to locate and transport the man to safety by Chilliwack RCMP, police dog services, and ‘Air One’ RCMP helicopter personnel.

“Given the weather conditions and the fact that the man was not dressed for a night in the woods, police efforts undoubtedly made a difference in saving this man’s life,” Rail said.

When police finally found the man, his core temperature was dropping, and he had frostbite. The man was transported to a regional hospital by BC Ambulance Service for treatment.

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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