The Owl Head Recreation Area.

Missing snowmobilers found safe

Owl Head Recreation Area: RCMP helicopter pilot spots men on forestry road.

Two Salmon Arm men are glad to be in from the cold.

The pair left Salmon Arm at 9 a.m. Monday, heading to Owl Head Recreation Area with their snow bikes and telling family members they would be home by 7 p.m. Dec. 14. Snow bikes are modified dirt bikes.

When the men did not arrive home at the appointed time, members of the family travelled to the area and, upon discovering the vehicles onsite, initiated a search with the help of friends but were unsuccessful.

Sicamous RCMP were advised of the missing men just before midnight and they in turn called Shuswap Search and Rescue.

Five SAR members began searching about 2 a.m. but had not located the missing men by daylight.

An RCMP Air Service helicopter was dispatched to the scene in the morning and the men were soon spotted as they were walking down a forestry road in the area.

“They had abandoned their snowmobiles and were a significant distance from any of the searchers or assistance,” reads an RCMP media release.

Shuswap Search and Rescue Search Manager John Schut said the men had gone down into a ravine that drains into the Two Mile area south of Sicamous.

“They’d gone down into a ravine below the snow line and couldn’t get back up,” he said, noting the men were found about 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15.

“The pilot landed the chopper and the men were flown out,” he said. “They  were fairly well-prepared, had lighted a fire at night and seemed to have their wits about them.”

Schut says one of the men was treated by paramedics and released and the other was taken to hospital for hypothermia.

Getting the snow bikes out of the ravine will require a helicopter with a long line, said Schut Tuesday.

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