Military helicopter, plane dispatched to rescue Mountie and suspect in ravine
BRIDESVILLE, B.C. — The RCMP says two military aircraft rescued a police officer and an alleged trespasser after a foot chase led them into a steep ravine with no easy way out in British Columbia’s southern Interior.
The Mounties say in a news release they responded to a reported break and enter Tuesday afternoon that the property owner observed on a surveillance camera.
When officers arrived at the property in Bridesville, east of Osoyoos, they detained four people, but a fifth person leapt into the ravine and was pursued by an officer.
Police say the man entered a river multiple times before being found and arrested by the officer, but by that point they were trapped 120 metres down the ravine and could not climb out.
The Mounties say the man was becoming hypothermic while the officer was dealing with exposure to frigid temperatures.
The RCMP called for help after Mounties from neighbouring detachments and passersby, who tossed down warm clothes and supplies to start a fire, were unable to extract the pair.
The Canadian Armed Forces sent a Buffalo fixed-wing aircraft and a Cormorant helicopter from Comox to assist with the rescue.
A 47-year-old man from Bridesville was airlifted to hospital about six hours after the pursuit began and treated for exposure-related injuries, the RCMP say. The Mountie was picked up an hour later and did not need medical attention.
The RCMP say the man was wanted on several outstanding warrants and remains in police custody.
Police say the other four people, who range in age from 35 to 51, were released and are expected to appear in court to face charges.