A 12-hour search and rescue mission on Mount Arrowsmith took place from 11 p.m. Wednesday night to 11 a.m. Thursday after two orange flares were spotted over the mountain.
The flares lasted quite a while, said Alberni Valley Rescue Squad (AVRS) search manager, Mike Riddalls, which prompted search crews to believe the glow was from a flare and not fireworks.
After talking to the RCMP, the AVRS sent search teams to Mount Arrowsmith who scoured logging roads, including Cameron Main and Labour Day Main and the area of the former ski resort. They searched near the Yellows Creek area and conducted trail blocks at the Loon Lake and Arrowsmith connectors.
Rescue teams didn’t find any sign of a person in distress and there were no abandoned vehicles.
“At 4:15 a.m. we came across gentlemen who reported seeing a second flare coming from a slightly different direction [than the first flare],” Riddalls said. “We then refocused our search towards Snowblazers Cabin.”
Riddalls said there was nobody in the cabin and the search area then extended from Yellows Creek to King Sullivan Basin. Still, crews were unable to locate any vehicles or people looking for help.
Under authority of the RCMP, search crews were called back to the base at 11 a.m.
“We searched every area that was reasonable to search,” Riddalls said. “Eleven people responded to the search.”
There has been no missing person’s report filed with the Port Alberni RCMP.
This was the third flare sighting in the past month, Riddalls said.
Riddalls urges the public not to let off flares unless they’re in an emergency situation.