Qualicum Beach 87-year-old found safe, cold

Dog likely saved man from death after two nights outside

An 87-year-old Qualicum Beach man is lucky to be alive after going missing for two nights in sub-zero temperatures — and he likely has his dog to thank.

Oceanside RCMP Corporal Jesse Foreman said the man was reported missing on Saturday after a friend dropped by for a coffee and found it odd that he wasn’t home and his truck wasn’t in the driveway.

“He thought that perhaps his friend had gone for a hike on his son’s 160-acre property near Spider Lake,” Foreman said. “He drove there to investigate further and found the man’s truck parked at the end of the road and became very concerned when he could not find him nearby.”

The man phoned police to help search for his friend and the police in turn called out Arrowsmith Search and Rescue.

ASAR search coordinator Gordon Yelland said his group was called out at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

“We had teams out on the trails and we kept looking until 12:30 a.m. with the help of two RCMP dogs, three civilian search dogs, a horse team and of course some ground personnel but were unsuccessful,” Yelland said.

The team left their mobile operations base on site with a volunteer on hand to monitor developments and resumed their search Sunday morning.

“Comox and Nanaimo Search and Rescue joined in on Sunday afternoon and we got two dog handlers out from Campbell River along with several members from Comox Search and Rescue,” he said. However they were again unsuccessful in their search.

On Monday morning, Yelland said his team was again forming up to scour the woods when they received some unexpectedly good news.

“We received a call saying the grandson and some friends had gone onto some trails and they got close by him,” Yelland said. “The fellow had his dog with him and while we’d had teams fairly close by, calling him and his dog, but got no response. However, when the grandson called the dog it came to him from a very obscure trail.”

The grandson and his friends followed the dog and  found the man hunkered down by a stump under a log overhang.

“The dog kept him warm over the two nights he was out,” Yelland said. “He was just wearing jeans, light shoes, a shirt and a medium jacket, nothing really good for the cold.”

The man was rushed to hospital as a precaution, but aside from mild hypothermia, he was in good shape.

“He was coherent, talking to his grandson and his friends,” Yelland said. “he was very cold and tired and he had got a bit damp, but he was conscious with no injuries, no broken bones, nothing strained. He was in good shape in that respect.”

Yelland said having the dog on hand was likely a major factor in the positive outcome.

“Having the dog with him was a big help,” he said. “The dog would be able to curl up with him as a heat source.”

As an experienced ASAR technician, Yelland is well aware that the chances of finding a search subject alive in cold weather diminishes rapidly after the first night out, so he was delighted with the outcome.

“We didn’t know this morning what we would encounter,” he said. “The probability of him being in the condition he was in, considering the sub-zero temperatures, was fairly low. We always hope for the best, but when it gets to the second day, after two nights out, we plan for the worst.”

Foreman said the dog deserves much credit for the successful rescue.

“This man’s dog is truly a hero, as he kept his master warm and ultimately led family to him for rescue,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

The Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society will get more funding from the Regional District of Nanaimo. (Submitted Photo)
More PQB communities to fund Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society

RDN to introduce amendment to service bylaw contribution

A slide on best practices when reporting a suspected impaired driver that was presented to Parksville city council on June 7 by Margarita Bernard, a volunteer with MADD. The organization’s Report Impaired Drivers campaign involves the installation of informative signs within the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
MADD brings campaign to report impaired drivers to Parksville

Aim is to raise awareness that 911 should be called

Pam Bottomley (executive director), right and Sandy Hurley (president) of the Parksville Downtown Business Association visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Downtown Parksville gears up for post-pandemic bounce back

Podcast: Hurley, Bottomley chat about what’s ahead for the PDBA

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts was found dead near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New residential school healing centre to be built near Duncan

$5-million Indigenous treatment centre will help survivors of residential schools heal

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Vancouver Island lottery players win $1 million and $500,000 in Lotto Max draw

$1 million ticket sold in Campbell River, $500,000 ticket sold in Nanaimo

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Most Read