Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue have made an appearance in the Knowledge Network’s new documentary series Search and Rescue: North Shore.
The five-part series, that debuted on November, follows the volunteer search and rescue members of the North Shore team as they respond to calls for help.
Ridge Meadows search team made an appearance in episode four of the series, which was filmed during a call they attended in May 2019, on Burke Mountain in Coquitlam.
They attended a call after a request for assistance from Coquitlam Search and Rescue. They were searching for two children lost on the mountain.
“Whenever you get a call for lost children there’s a heightened urgency,” said Bryan Moffatt, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue manager, who was part of the documentary.
“I have five kids. As a father you immediately begin thinking about your kids being lost, lost in the wilderness and how you would react to that,” he added about the call.
The team had to search overnight for the children, ages six and seven years old. Their father had to make the difficult decision to leave them on the mountain while he went to find help.
When Moffatt’s team arrived on the mountain at around 9 p.m., they were told the Coquitlam team had discovered footprints in the snow that looked to be children’s sized. Their task was to meet up with the Coquitlam team where the footprints were discovered and search from there.
It wasn’t until around 5 a.m., when it was beginning to get light again, that they found the footprints.
“We were pretty excited to see that, the possibility of them being in the area,” said Moffatt, although, he added, that they also discovered, what they believed to be, large bear prints, as well.
They walked in the direction of Munro Lake and discovered that the footprints led into a narrow canyon on the side of the mountain.
After a couple of hours, having to repel along steep sections of the canyon, the team discovered a couple of backpacks, clothing and shoes in the water of one of the creeks.
Then they found the father’s shoes in a steep area where he slid and lost them.
“I knew we were getting close,” noted Moffatt as he recalled the moment his team and another discovered the children at the same time.
“It was a pretty exciting moment. We assessed their condition and they were in good condition surprisingly for six- and seven-year-old kids spending the night with minimal gear after quite the adventure,” said Moffatt.
“They were in good spirits as well. They were laughing with us,” he added.
It is from this point where you see most of the footage in the documentary, he said.
Footage for the documentary was obtained using GoPro cameras. One was mounted to the long line that they used to rescue the children and another to a helicopter that was also part of the rescue. Crews had recorded Bryan’s voice the moment they found the children.
“It was pretty cool footage,” said Moffatt, adding that it was great to be part of the docu-series.
“My wife and kids watched it and got to see a very accurate portrayal of what goes on behind the scenes of a search and rescue operation,” he said.
Moffatt also likes how the series brings awareness to the outdoor community on what is involved in a rescue operation and the importance of safety when adventuring outdoors.
To capture footage for the series the production company, Peg Leg Films, and director Grant Baldwin were embedded with the North Shore Rescue team for an entire year and were on call 24/7 during the filming.
Search and Rescue: North Shore is available to stream for free at knowledge.ca and on the Knowledge Network app.