A RCMP helicopter quickly located two young women who got lost while hiking in Golden Ears Provincial Park, near Maple Ridge, on Thursday.
The women – an 18-year-old girl from Langley and a 19-year-old friend from Mission – used a cell phone to call for help around 9:30 p.m. after they were unable to find a way back to the parking lot.
Ridge Meadows RCMP and Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue volunteers set up a command post at the entrance to the UBC Research Forest, at the north end of 232nd Street.
Air One was called and the lost women were spotted by the pilot shortly after he flew over the area. Search and rescue volunteers were directed to their location and led the women out of the forest.
“The girls, who are not experienced hikers, obviously did their homework and took all hiking essentials,” said Sgt. Dale Somerville.
The women had water, food, other clothing and a cell phone.
Although the hikers were prepared, police are warning others not to depend on modern technology alone.
“Quite often cell phones are not able to get a signal so it is very important that hikers notify a family member or a friend regarding their plans, and when they’re supposed to return,” said Somerville.
If you are hiking in unfamiliar areas, keep track of land marks and the surroundings. Knowing how to use a compass also helps.