Lost hiker uses dying phone to call 911, then waits in dark, Canada rescuers say

North Shore Rescue

A lost hiker called 911 with the last of his phone battery, then waited for rescuers in the dark in Canada.

The man became trapped on “steep terrain” Nov. 19 near Mount Habrich and Squamish, British Columbia, the North Shore Rescue said in a Facebook post.

He called for help when he realized he couldn’t find a way out of the cold and snowy area on his own, rescuers said.

Rescuers began searching for him from a helicopter because of the conditions. They used night vision goggles, the rescue team said.

Eventually, they spotted him even though he didn’t have a light, rescuers said.

“He was waving his arms madly,” North Shore Rescue member John Blown told Saanich News.

Rescuers said they assessed the man and hoisted him into the helicopter.

Blown told the news outlet he was only wearing jeans and a “wet puffer jacket” when they found him. He would have became “hypothermic if he had stayed the night,” Blown said.

Squamish is about 40 miles north of Vancouver, British Columbia.

What to do if you get lost while hiking

If you think you’re getting lost, experts say it’s best to stop where you are and not panic. You should go over how you got to that point and if you’re able to see any landmarks around.

“Do not move at all until you have a specific reason to take a step,” officials with the U.S. Forest Service said.

You should come up with a plan but stay put unless you are “very, very confident in the route.”

There are steps hikers can take to avoid getting lost and be better prepared for the unexpected:

  • Have more than enough food and water with you.

  • Take a compass that you know how to use, or have a GPS device on hand.

  • Don’t rely solely on your cell phone. It probably won’t work because of a lack of signal or a depleted battery.

  • Study the terrain and your route, and you should know how you’ll return.

  • Have the right clothing. Sturdy hiking boots and layers can help you be prepared for rapidly changing weather.

  • Pack a blanket, flashlight and matches.

  • Check with a local ranger for special warnings. They can tell you about “fires in the area, bear sightings, flooding, trail or road closures.”

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