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

Crystal Johns used her lunch break to film her audition video for the Vancouver Canucks.
VIDEO: Former Vees anthem singer wants to bring her voice to the Canucks

Crystal Johns made her audition tape during a lunch break

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Penticton Real Canadian Superstore
New COVID case at Penticton Superstore

The last day the employee worked was Jan. 21

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

A Dodge Ram pickup similar to this one was involved in a hit-and-run in Lake Country on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Stolen truck involved in Okanagan hit-and-run

Incident happened on Highway 97 in Lake Country just before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read