Members of Arrowsmith Search and Rescue scrambled over the hump to Port Alberni on the weekend to aid their colleagues in the search for two missing mushroom pickers.
The pair of chanterelle pickers had left Bamfield at noon on Sunday to search for their quarry near Black Lake, near the start of the West Coast Trail. When they didn’t return by 6:30 p.m. friends and neighbours began a search, before calling the RCMP at around 10 p.m.
Approximately 25 volunteers from the Alberni Valley, Tofino and Parksville ground search and rescue squads were involved in the search, as well as 25 more volunteers from the Bamfield community.
Arrowsmith Search and Rescue spokesperson Randy Lewis said six members joined in the search for the couple, who were eventually found around 5 p.m. in thick bush near Pachena Bay.
“They were out and it got late and dark and so they just hunkered down for the night and walked out the next day,” he said. “They were a little cool, I guess.”
Lewis said it’s not unusual for mushroom pickers to become disoriented in the woods and he urged all pickers to bring a compass with them on their expeditions.