(Wikimedia Commons)

Polish climbers saved from B.C. avalanche after calling Poland for help

Pair was climbing in Mount Robson Provincial Park when they were hit

B.C. first responders got a surprising report all the way from Poland this week, after two climbers got caught in an avalanche.

The climbers were up on White Horn Mountain in Mount Robson Provincial Park, on the Alberta border close to Jasper, on Monday when the avalanche hit.

BC Emergency Health Services spokesperson Shannon Miller said they had a satellite phone and called the Polish emergency number to ask for help.

“When they called the Polish emergency services, they called the Polish embassy in Ottawa, who called Ottawa emergency service, who then called BC Emergency Health Services,” said Miller.

READ MORE: B.C. couple caught in Kootenay Pass avalanche

After B.C. finally received the call at about 11:20 a.m., an air ambulance from Kamloops and a plane from Prince George were dispatched to the scene, and the Robson Valley Search and Rescue crew was notified. A BCEHS ground crew was also dispatched to the information centre at Mount Robson.

Miller said she didn’t know if the pair simply had no idea what B.C.’s emergency number was or if they were in too much shock.

“They’d just been hit by an avalanche, after all,” said Miller. “Both were in serious condition when they were airlifted out to the nearest trauma centre in Kamloops.”

Miller said that while it was “highly unusual” for B.C. emergency dispatchers to get a call from Poland, it seems to have worked out okay for the climbers.

“It’s good that they had the satellite phone and it did work, so I’d say it was highly successful.”

The climbers were lucky that B.C. has a centralized emergency dispatch system, she said, unlike Alberta which has a myriad of different contractors handling emergency calls in different areas of the province.

“Without an understanding of the geography, it would be hard to know who to call.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Baby makes surprise arrival in car on Sheep Creek Hill

Meldrum Creek woman delivers in the passenger seat

Emergency management top priority for CCRD

MOU will be the first of its kind in B.C.

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

Most Read