I hope you will help us in expressing our gratitude and appreciation to some worthy individuals and organizations for the rescue of an injured friend from a high-alpine area near Keremeos/Cawston known as the Joe Lake area.
Larry Lund, Mel Marshall and myself were on our customary pack-horse trip to Joe Lake. On Aug.16, two days after arriving, while on a day ride, Larry was seriously injured in a horse incident. He was unable to ride and could only hobble slowly. It took us seven hours to cover the few miles back to the cabin. Mel and I took turns riding to the ridges trying to get cell phone coverage. At one point I was able to get 911 dispatch for a brief moment (a short “hello”), but then the call ended.
I understand that at that time, 911 dispatch contacted the RCMP over the “dropped 911 call” and traced the call to my cell phone. Two RCMP cruisers came to our house and spoke to my wife Susan. She confirmed that in fact we were in the Joe Lake area. Const. Kerry Brister of Keremeos became involved and also the “Watchmen” of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. They were unable to locate us.
At this time, the RCMP were also in consultation with Nigel Jones, another of our riding companions and were prepared to fly in the next morning. In fact, Const. Brister (a non-rider) offered to ride in, at night, with Nigel, a six to eight-hour ride.
The Search and Rescue team were alerted and were preparing for a possible rescue mission.
Sharon Lund contacted her friend Jan Rustad, of Canadian Helicopters, who agreed to drop everything and fly up to Joe Lake and see what, if anything, was happening. Sharon hoped he would find the three of us sitting in the cabin drinking scotch and playing Liars’ Dice. Unfortunately that was not the case.
We eventually got back to the cabin and a short time later we heard the helicopter flown by Jan. The helicopter landed near the cabin and took Larry to Penticton where he was met by his wife and daughter and taken to Emergency and seen by Dr. Brad Raison, a friend and customary riding companion.
We are grateful for the 911 dispatch system. Thank you.
We also thank all involved, especially the RCMP and Constables Mark McWhinnie and Kerry Brister, who were so kind, helpful and co-operative, and above all Jan Rustad.
We really appreciate the willingness of all of you to help us.