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Two children missing on Burke Mountain found

Last Updated May 20, 2019 at 4:56 pm PDT

Summary

Two children have been found after they and their dad fell into a creek on Burke Mountain while hiking on Sunday

The kids, aged six and seven, and their father all suffered minor injuries

SAR says the dad made the difficult decision to leave and look for help because of how dangerous the situation was

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – The desperate search for two young children on Burke Mountain in Coquitlam is over — Mounties say they’ve been found and have been air-lifted to safety.

The girl and boy, aged six and seven, and their father apparently slipped into a creek and were hurt around the Monroe Lake area while hiking on Sunday. The family, visiting from the U.S., had been trying to get to Monroe Lake to fish, but got off track.

“Our efforts began late [Sunday] when the kids and their father were traversing down a trail on Burke Mountain,” Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik said. “All three fell down a steep, treacherous cliff. The father was able to make the difficult climb up the cliff while injured to go and get help.”

Search and rescue crews were called around 7:00 p.m. According to Coquitlam SAR Manager Ian MacDonald, there’s no cell coverage where the three fell. The father made the difficult decision to go find help, and had told his children to “stay put.”

However, because it was getting dark and due to the rough terrain, MacDonald said the man was unable to return to where they had fallen.

“Dad thought, you know, ‘this is a dangerous situation, I’d better go for help,'” MacDonald told reporters, adding the father walked about two kilometres before he was able to find help.

“The biggest immediate danger to them is, in this area they were near a creek and we flew this area [Sunday] night, trying to search it by helicopter to try and get a quicker location on them. We couldn’t see them [Sunday] night, so what we did see really worried us because there are dozens and dozens of waterfalls. Had they gone down one of these waterfalls.”

MacDonald said the conditions on Sunday were “excellent,” but added efforts were made more difficult because the call about the missing children came in late in the day.

Staged at Minnekhada park in Coquitlam, search and rescue began searching by ground since the call came in.

“You can imagine that all of us, we’ve got kids and it was really elation because this is very rugged terrain where they were lost,” MacDonald said.

It was a lost backpack that helped crews figure out they were on the right track.

“It was kind of like Hansel and Gretel, we found some bread crumbs along the way. One of those was the backpacks,” he added.

Search and rescue teams from the North Shore and Maple Ridge also helped in the search.