Police service dog rescues distraught, hypothermic Campbell River man during snowstorm

  • Jan. 14, 2019 1:30 p.m.

RCMP police service dog Gator located a distraught man who had wandered off into the snow last week and began to succumb to hypothermia.

During last Tuesday’s heavy snowfall, police were called to help locate a distraught man who was confused and believed men were chasing him, Campbell River RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Ron Vlooswyk said. The family tried to bring the man to hospital but instead he fled on foot into a heavily wooded area.

The family and police all had major concerns for his safety and wellbeing. It was snowing and the temperature was at zero degrees Celsius. The man was only dressed in track pants, dress shoes and a coat.

The Campbell River RCMP Police Dog Service was called in to help with the search. Police service dog Gator led police through dense bush covered in heavy wet snow. The track then led into a field where it zig-zagged through five inches of snow, clearly revealing the man was struggling and was disorientated.

After 12:30 a.m., Gator located the man laying down in a depression covered in snow. He was extremely cold, couldn’t get up and was unable to speak clearly. Police officers helped him get to ambulance personnel for immediate medical attention for hypothermia. He was wrapped in heated blankets and heat packs then transported to hospital.

“The man fell into the depression and could not get out due to exhaustion and cold. He could not be seen by the officers,” said Cpl. Ron Vlooswyk. “It is very unlikely he would have survived the night if Gator had not found him and had he not received medical attention from the ambulance attendants on scene.”