Campbell River man rescued after wandering into swamp
CAMPBELL RIVER -- A Campbell River man could well owe his life to a homeless person and a Bic lighter following a bizarre overnight search.
The local RCMP say a man wandered into a swampy area of the city Sunday evening and began yelling for help. His cries were heard by a homeless person living nearby who tried to reach him but couldn't and then called 911 around 11 p.m.
"We checked a bunch of the different trail networks and unfortunately we weren't able to gain access," says Campbell River RCMP Const. Maury Tyre.
The local search and rescue team attended and were able to reach the man within a few hours despite the darkness.
"There's no street lights or anything out in that area so it's just headlamps and hand-held flashlights" says Campbell River Search and Rescue manager Tim Strange.
When reached, the man had no recollection of how he got into the middle of the swamp.
"We don't know why he was there or how he got there. There's a variety of trails that are out in that area going to different locations and he was in an area and once he got stuck he was able to call for help," Strange says.
Megan Woelders was one of the team members who reached the man through difficult conditions that included tall grass, deep water and fallen trees.
"There was also some really deep holes and at one point one of our members sunk up to his chest in a hole all of a sudden," Woelders says. "It was really difficult to walk through."
Rescuers were in voice contact with the man and then visually with an aid supplied by him.
"We were able to pinpoint him because he had a Bic lighter on him that he kept flashing so we could see it," Tyre says. "The flashes would appear against the darkness."
The man was assisted out of the swamp around 2am on an inflatable kayak pulled by rescuers.
Tyre says believe drugs were likely involved in the incident.
The man was examined by paramedics and then released.