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A 54 Year old Gitanyow man missing since Monday September 21, 2009, lost in dense bush and bear country, approximately 130 kilometers South East of Stewart, British Columbia,found his way out alive and well on Thursday morning September 24th.At approximately 9:00 hours on Thursday, Mr. Ross Harris walked onto the Van Dyke Forest Service Road and was picked up by one of the searchers from the Gitanyow First nation Community that was among the search party looking for Harris.
54 year old Ross Harris, was in the area of the Van Dyke and Brown Bear Forest Service Roads Monday, with friends harvesting mushrooms, when he became separated from his party. His friends searched the area for him and when they did not find him, sought help from fellow Gitanyow First Nation members. A group of searchers did not locate Mr. Harris on Tuesday and requested Police assistance at 6:00 P.M., September 22, 2009.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police from Stewart, British Columbia attended to the area at that time, however due to darkness, were unable to begin a search until September 23, 2009. With the assistance of the Provincial Emergency Program Search and Rescue Volunteers, members of the the Gitanyow First Nation, a Police Service Dog team and two members of the Stewart RCMP searched the area where Mr. HARRIS was last seen. Fixed wing aircraft were also utilized in the search courtesy of the Canadian Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA).
As of 4:00 P.M, September 23, 2009 Mr. Harris had not been located.
Search efforts had resumed on Thursday morning when Mr Harris walked out on his own steam and luckily came across searchers looking for him. Other then dehydration, mild Hypothermia and lots of bug bites, he was fine. As a precaution and for his well being he was transported via Police vehicle with his mother to an Ambulance from Kitwanga and taken to New Hazelton Hospital. There were no health issues.
Searchers were chased out of the area on several occasions by marauding bears and had to be extremely cautious due to high number of bears known to be in the area.
“The Stewart RCMP and Gitanyow First Nations were extremely grateful to all persons involved in the search and the locating of there fellow community and band member”, stated Cpl Stuart Murray NCOi/c of the Stewart RCMP Detachment.
Cpl. Dan Moskaluk
Media Relations Officer
South East District and North District
170 -395 Penno Road, Kelowna BC V1X-7W5
Office: (250) 491-2300
Cell: (250) 863-7433
Fax: (250) 491-2381
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