On Sunday, September 10th, just before 9:00 p.m., Whitehorse RCMP received a call from a 28-year-old man from Whitehorse who was stranded on Double Mountain.
The man had been out on his quad and ran out of gas. He was then able to hike to a higher elevation and get cell reception, which allowed him to call 911.
RCMP officers instructed the man to stay put and try to stay warm while waiting for help to arrive. A search party was organized and a helicopter and quads were dispatched to the area at first light, once conditions were more optimal for searching.
Around 7:30 a.m. on Monday, September 11th, RCMP and YSAR volunteers located the man in the Double Mountain area. He was cold, wet and in need of food and water, but appeared to be in good health condition otherwise. He was returned to the Whitehorse area by helicopter and taken to Whitehorse General Hospital to be assessed by medical professionals.
The Yukon RCMP and Yukon Search and Rescue continue to stress the importance of trip planning and packing the essentials when exploring the Yukon's wilderness, no matter how experienced you may be in navigating remote areas in the territory.
"Whether you're leaving for a day or a week, it's absolutely crucial to tell someone where you're going and when you're expected back," said Cpl. Cam Long, Yukon RCMP's Divisional Search and Rescue Coordinator. "In this instance, the man was very lucky to be able to walk to a higher elevation and call 911 before his cell phone battery died, but there are many factors that could have resulted in a less positive outcome."
"No one plans to get lost. Getting lost or injured can happen to anyone, regardless of your backcountry experience or distance from town," said Yukon SAR prevention coordinator Mike Fancie. "Travelling with the essentials, like food, water, and fire-starting tools, gives those who are stranded outdoors a better chance of surviving longer and more comfortably while waiting for help to arrive."
Yukon RCMP wishes to thank Yukon Search and Rescue volunteers and Trans North Helicopters for their assistance in responding to this incident.
Search and rescue operations in the Yukon are a team effort. As the lead agency for search and rescue in the Yukon, the RCMP regularly works in partnership with Yukon Search and Rescue, Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, Yukon Emergency Measures Organization, Environment Yukon Conservation Officers, Yukon Energy, Mines and Resources Officers, Yukon Wildland Fire Management crews, First Nation communities, Wilderness Tourism Association of the Yukon, and MANY more partners to ensure the safe return of lost, missing and stranded persons in the Yukon.