(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

Langley trampoline gymnast off to Peru for world qualifiers

The gymnastics club is holding an open house this Saturday, Aug. 18, with free drop-in sessions.

VIDEO: Langley RCMP officer and brother lead Amazing Race Canada Heroes Edition

Courtney and Taylor Callens have become the team to beat

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Trinity Western men’s soccer team starts California trip with a win

Spartans use their ability to execute on set pieces to claim a 3-2 victory

Police issue warning that 19-year-old poses ‘significant’ risk to the public

Varinderpal ‘VP’ Gill of Abbotsford involved in Lower Mainland gang conflict, police say

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Metro Vancouver water reservoirs in ‘good shape’

Reserves sitting at 70-per-cent full, officials said, despite long stretch without major rain

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Most Read