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

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Snowboarders at Revelstoke Mountain Resort heading for the gondola. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Updated: Another 16 COVID-19 cases for Revelstoke

The cases were identified between Jan. 3 and 9

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A performance by Alex Cuba will be streaming live on Arts Revelstoke platforms on Feb. 12, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Fasano, submitted by Arts Revelstoke)
Arts Revelstoke hosting virtual performances and movies this season

REVY. Live and Movies in the Mountains is returning

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
115 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in Interior Health

There are now a total of 4,970 cases in the region

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Most Read