At approximately 22:00 last night North Shore Rescue was called to assist in searching for a missing hiker in Lighthouse Park. Although this park is within the municipality of West Vancouver, it is full of technical terrain and can be quite dangerous at night for someone who is lost without a light.
While ground teams responded and entered the field in support of West Vancouver Police (WVPD) NSR SAR manager, Doug Pope, attempted to get a GPS coordinate from the subjects cellphone. Unfortunately, a combination of exhaustion, cold, and lack of familiarity with his own device made this a challenge.
At about 23:30 a WVPD officer, who was out searching, made voice contact with the subject near Eagle Point. Shortly after this, a Canadian Coast Guard hovercraft that was also engaged in the search, spotted and picked the subject up. A excellent multi-agency response.
Two key lessons can be learned from this call:
1. Know how to turn on location services on your smart phone before you head out for a hike. You can find a detailed guide here on how to do it on common smartphones.
2. Always carry a flashlight when going for a hike. Even a small turtle-light from Mountain Equipment Coop or keychain light, may save you a lot of trouble if you find yourself accidentally caught out at dark.