Midway RCMP’s Cpl. Phil Peters spoke at Greenwood’s city council meeting Monday, Nov. 23. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Midway RCMP’s Cpl. Phil Peters spoke at Greenwood’s city council meeting Monday, Nov. 23. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

B.C. Mountie builds fire to warm suspect with hypothermia prior to rescue

Cpl. Phil Peters said the civilian helped police track, apprehend and eventually rescue the suspect

Midway RCMP Cpl. Phil Peters is grateful to a Good Samaritan who helped police apprehend a burglary suspect and also assisted with Tuesday night’s rescue operation in Bridesville.

READ MORE: Boundary Mountie and suspect airlifted from ravine after foot chase

Peters and the suspect, a 47-year-old Bridesville man, were rescued by helicopter late Dec. 1 after a harrowing foot chase down a ravine traversing Rock Creek. Peters followed the suspect down the slope, aided by a 32-year-old Bridesville man who witnessed the suspect fleeing from an alleged burglary in the 1600 block of Fish Lake Road.

Peters said he and the Good Samaritan pursued the suspect through the ravine for about two hours starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday. At several points the men were waist deep in Rock Creek’s frigid waters.

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey

The freezing suspect gave up the chase after developing hypothermia.

“There was no fight left in him,” Peters said, adding that he did not handcuff the man.

Instead, the corporal built a fire to warm the suspect, at times holding him in an effort to raise his core temperature. Meanwhile, the Good Samaritan hiked out of the ravine so that he could bring Peters a pair of dry socks.

“He was just amazing,” Peters stressed. With icy water setting into his feet, Peters said he was very glad for the socks. “My boots were bricks by the time I got out of there.”

Mounties from Midway, Osoyoos and other jurisdictions were unable to assist the rescue in the cold and damp, so police called for an airlift by Canadian Armed Forces based in Comox, according to RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. The suspect was the first to be rescued. He was taken to a nearby hospital shortly after 9:20 p.m, where he was treated for hypothermia and exposure.

An RCMP cruiser looks on as military search and rescue helicopter powers down outside Bridesville Tuesday night, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey

An RCMP cruiser looks on as military search and rescue helicopter powers down outside Bridesville Tuesday night, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey

Peters did not require medical attention when he was airlifted 45 minutes later, O’Donaghey said.

Asked how he managed to stave off the cold, Peters said, “I guess it’s just who I am.”

Peters elaborated that he and his father had spent a lot of time hunting in the backcountry around his native Prince George. “I’m going to give my dad a lot of credit for my upbringing.”

Midway RCMP conditionally released four other suspects at the scene of the suspected burglary. The rescued suspect remains in police custody, where Cpl. O’Donaghey said he awaits criminal charges.


@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

RCMPrescueSearch and Rescue

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Vernon man's faith in humanity has been restored since his lost wallet was returned, credit cards, cash and all, to the RCMP station. (Contributed)
Good Samaritan turns in cash-filled wallet to Vernon Mounties

Owner’s faith in humanity restored following a tough few weeks

Esa Carriere, 23, was the victim of a 2018 Canada Day homicide. (File)
Youth sentenced in Kelowna Canada Day killing

Young woman pleaded guilty to lesser assault charge, sentenced to 15-month intensive support and supervision program

A rendering of UBC’s planned downtown Kelowna campus. (Contributed)
Kelowna’s new downtown campus to help alleviate UBCO’s space crunch

The sizable development is anticipated to be completed by the fall 2024 semester

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a single-vehicle rollover Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, after a vehicle came into contact with a pedestrian light pole at Kalamalka Lake Road and 14th Avenue. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Minor injuries in rollover after vehicle hits Vernon crosswalk pole

The vehicle flipped onto its side, closing Kalamalka Lake Road

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

Canada Post had remove a lot of letter boxes around Penticton after they were vandalized. This letter box at the United Church on Main St. remains unscathed. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Street mailbox vandals strike Penticton drop boxes

Canada Post had to remove a bunch of the vandalized units

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A petition to spare the Mount Rose Swanson area from logging later this year has eclipsed 21,000 signatures as of Jan. 20, 2021. (Rose Swanson Mountain/Facebook)
Controversial logging will cut 4% of ‘sensitive’ Armstrong forest area: Ministry

A petition to spare the Rose Swanson area from logging has eclipsed 21,000 signatures

Most Read