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Call again for cell tower in Golden Ears park

Ridge search team responds to vessel in distress on Alouette Lake
Rick Laing, with Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue.

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue responded to a call Monday for a vessel in distress on Alouette Lake, and said again efforts were complicated by poor cellular reception.

“Details at the time were somewhat limited due to poor cell communications,” the team wrote on its Facebook page.

“Six team members happened to be at the headquarters building at the time the call was received, including two SAR managers and three boat operators, so we were able to respond quite quickly, while other team members responded directly to the lake.”

On arrival at the boat launch, SAR members found the subject vessel had been able to make it back to shore after having taken on a significant amount of water, and all people on board were safe.

Rick Laing, general manager of the Ridge SAR team, said someone saw what appeared to be a boat sinking, and had to leave the area to find reception to make a call for help.

The search team has a satellite phone, he added, but not everyone in the park does.

A cellphone tower was proposed for Golden Ears Provincial Park in 2015.

Rogers Communications, after consultation with B.C. Parks, wanted to put up a cell tower next to the Alouette campground in the park. It would provide coverage for the park’s picnic areas, boat launch and all campsites.

Laing isn’t sure if the tower has been approved by Industry Canada.

“From our perspective, it’s still the same situation as it was in 2015,” he said.

Not have a cell tower in the park, Laing added, does hinder the team’s ability to help those in distress.