(Wikimedia Commons)

Polish climbers saved from B.C. avalanche after calling Poland for help

Pair was climbing in Mount Robson Provincial Park when they were hit

B.C. first responders got a surprising report all the way from Poland this week, after two climbers got caught in an avalanche.

The climbers were up on White Horn Mountain in Mount Robson Provincial Park, on the Alberta border close to Jasper, on Monday when the avalanche hit.

BC Emergency Health Services spokesperson Shannon Miller said they had a satellite phone and called the Polish emergency number to ask for help.

“When they called the Polish emergency services, they called the Polish embassy in Ottawa, who called Ottawa emergency service, who then called BC Emergency Health Services,” said Miller.

READ MORE: B.C. couple caught in Kootenay Pass avalanche

After B.C. finally received the call at about 11:20 a.m., an air ambulance from Kamloops and a plane from Prince George were dispatched to the scene, and the Robson Valley Search and Rescue crew was notified. A BCEHS ground crew was also dispatched to the information centre at Mount Robson.

Miller said she didn’t know if the pair simply had no idea what B.C.’s emergency number was or if they were in too much shock.

“They’d just been hit by an avalanche, after all,” said Miller. “Both were in serious condition when they were airlifted out to the nearest trauma centre in Kamloops.”

Miller said that while it was “highly unusual” for B.C. emergency dispatchers to get a call from Poland, it seems to have worked out okay for the climbers.

“It’s good that they had the satellite phone and it did work, so I’d say it was highly successful.”

The climbers were lucky that B.C. has a centralized emergency dispatch system, she said, unlike Alberta which has a myriad of different contractors handling emergency calls in different areas of the province.

“Without an understanding of the geography, it would be hard to know who to call.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

7 Mile Landfill operations tender closes October

Taxes covering the landfill have not increased over the past 15 years and are not expected to soon.

NorthIsle starts drilling in Pemberton Hills area after negotiating deal with Freeport

Mining industry one step closer to a revitalization after farm-out agreement

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Port Hardy Fire Rescue’s open house a blazing hit

PHFR Lt. Harding explained that the organization is always looking for more recruits.

Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nation drafts first phase of passive housing project

The housing project will have 96 residential units for low-income families.

VIDEO: First legal cannabis purchases as midnight strikes in eastern Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador was the first province to kick off the sale of cannabis, just after midnight local time

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Duncan play faces challenges even before first performance as thieves strike

Thefts hamper Deathtrap days before opening at Mercury Theatre

Most Read