Two kids from U.S. rescued after spending night alone on B.C. mountain

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COQUITLAM, B.C. — After getting lost hiking and spending the night alone on steep terrain, two kids have been rescued Monday morning from Burke Mountain in Coquitlam.

Search and Rescue search manager Ian MacDonald said a father who went hiking with his seven-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter — visitors from Georgia, United States — got off course and ended up slipping down a creek bed.

Coquitlam Search and Rescue/Facebook

The father and kids were trying to get to Munro Lake to do some fishing but didn’t know the area too well, MacDonald said at a news conference Monday.

“At some point the kids took a bit of a fall and the dad thought this was a dangerous situation,” MacDonald said.

The father asked the kids to stay put while he made a difficult trek of about two kilometres over very steep rugged terrain with no trails and through dense forest until he could call for help, he said.

Search and Rescue got a call around 7 p.m. Sunday evening and had 12 people from Coquitlam, North Shore and Maple Ridge searching the area overnight, he said. The team also used a helicopter, drone and police dog to aid the effort.

“It is a miracle,” MacDonald said.

The father spent the night at a hospital but the children have no injuries, MacDonald said.

He said over the years the team has conducted multiple rescues in the same area because it tends to funnel people down.

“It starts off quite gentle up at the top and then the lower you go, it gets into very steep terrain and waterfalls.”

MacDonald said search and rescuers followed a “trail of bread crumbs” finding a backpack and shoes that the father lost along the way.

He commended the kids who stayed put where the father had left them.

“Search and rescue is difficult enough without having a moving target so the kids did a great job,” he said.