A young couple and their dog were lucky to be spotted by search crews Thursday after spending a week stuck in the backcountry.
Catherine Gibbons, 22, and Damon Brodeur, 24, were missing from B.C.’s Columbia Valley area since last week. On the same day police put out a request for the public’s help in locating them, an RCMP search plane came across the couple’s SUV stuck in a remote area east of the small town of Wasa.
The SUV, found on the Quin Creek Forest Service Road, appeared to have become stuck in a small creek crossing. The word “HELP” had been marked in the snow with sticks, along with an arrow pointing down the forestry road.
“An outstretched orange tarp, a large arrow and the word ‘HELP’ each etched in the snow within close proximity to the abandoned vehicle ultimately led to the discovery of the man and woman who had taken up shelter in a nearby cabin,” said the RCMP’s Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.
“HELP” had also been marked in the snow near the cabin the couple had taken refuge in.
The couple, and their dog, were rescued, and Gibbons and Brodeur were taken to a nearby hospital for an assessment, as a precaution. Police say all three were in good spirits.
“So many people gathered around me and my family to help in so many ways and I can’t say thank you enough,” Cherie Brodeur, Damon’s mother, posted to Facebook.
“(Damon) is quite the MacGyver and Cassie and him sound like they really pulled together to get to safety and warmth and wait a rescue out.”