One person dead after avalanche in backcountry near Merritt: RCMP

Search and Rescue personnel located two snowmobilers caught in a slide

UPDATE 6 p.m.: Police have confirmed that one of two men caught in an avalanche while snowmobiling in the back country near Merritt on Jan. 4 has died.

Initial reports from the scene had indicated that one person was attempting to locate a second person trapped by the slide.

Personnel from Hope Search and Rescue were dispatched to the site at 1:36 p.m. on Jan. 4 to assist in the search.

“We sent our Organized Avalanche Response Team Leader to join,” said Noelle Hart, President and PR Officer for Hope Search and Rescue. “He joined other highly qualified SAR members from neighboring groups and was flown to Merritt by helicopter.”

RCMP continue to encourage the public to closely monitor the Avalanche Canada website (https://www.avalanche.ca/) for current conditions and danger ratings in their area, and to use extra caution when travelling in the back country.

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Police say that one person has become trapped and is in need of urgent care following an avalanche in the backcountry near Merritt.

Shortly after 12:30 p.m. Saturday, police received a report of an avalanche near Cabin Lake and Prospect Creek in the area of Stoyoma Mountain, RCMP said in a news release.

Search and rescue personnel are responding to the incident.

The region has been hit with heavy snowfall since New Year’s Eve, sparking extreme avalanche warnings from Avalanche Canada. The agency’s website did not have this particular incident reported on their website as of 2:30 p.m.

ALSO READ: Rare warning of ‘extreme’ avalanche risk issued as storm hits B.C.

This story is developing. Follow your local Black Press Media news outlet for more details as information becomes available.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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