McBride RCMP and Robson Valley Search and Rescue respond to fatal avalanche

McBride, B.C. North District

2016-01-29 18:44 PST

File # 2016-51

The McBride RCMP is currently coordinating the rescue and recovery operation of a number of snowmobilers who were involved in a fatal avalanche in the Renshaw area near McBride BC, on Friday afternoon.

On Friday January 29, at around 1:30 pm, the McBride RCMP was notified of two separate GPS beacon activations in the Renshaw area just East of McBride, BC. In anticipation of the beacon activations being due to an avalanche or injured parties, the McBride RCMP promptly activated the Robson Valley Search and Rescue Team. One helicopter was dispatched to the area to assist, and quickly confirmed that the incident was involving an avalanche and snowmobilers.

Confirmation by SAR members on the ground was received, that the incident involved at least three separate groups of snowmobilers being caught in an avalanche. Two SAR technicians were on scene almost immediately as they were snowmobiling in the area just prior to the slide occurring. Throughout the afternoon, SAR Technicians assisted with the rescue of several snowmobilers belonging to at least three separate groups that were caught in the slide. In conjunction with assisting those individuals, SAR technicians also tended to the search for suspected buried persons in the slide.

As of 6:00 pm the McBride RCMP is able to confirm that 5 snowmobilers are deceased and have been recovered from the avalanche area. Several snowmobiling groups were in the area at the time. Efforts by the RCMP and SAR are continuing in making a determination that all other snowmobilers that were in the area are accounted for. 6 to 8 other snowmobilers lost snowmobiles in the avalanche and are being shuttled off of the mountain. Stated Cpl Dan Moskaluk. The McBride RCMP is being assisted with resources from the Valemount RCMP. The BC Coroners Service has been advised and is also attending.

No further information is being released at this time pending the completion of the search effort and completion of notification of next of kin. The McBride RCMP anticipates that an update will be possible early Saturday afternoon regarding the progress of the search and recovery effort.
 

Released by

Cpl. Dan Moskaluk

District Advisory NCO (Media Relations)
South East District
1168 Main Street, Penticton B.C. V2A-5E8
Office: 250-770-4754
Cell: 250-863-7433
Fax: 250-492-4851

Email: dan.moskaluk@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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