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Four Alberni people safe after getting stuck in snow west of Sproat Lake

Four people are safe this morning after spending a cold night walking from the Taylor Arm/ Snow Creek camping area to safety. A 42-year-old man and three women in their 20s, all from Port Alberni, had been 4x4ing Monday night in the area west of Sproat Lake when their truck became stuck in waist high snow.

"All four occupants began walking out," Port Alberni RCMP Cpl. Jen Allan said. "They had to cross the (Taylor) river at one point."

The man decided to walk ahead of the women and just before 7 a.m. he called the RCMP, who mobilized a search with the RCMP dog and members of the Alberni Valley Rescue Squad.

"It took him approximately nine and a half hours for him to walk where he could contact help," Allan said. There was no cellphone coverage in the area where the people became stuck, she added.

"As we were mustering with search and rescue the three women made it to the Taylor Arm rest area and a passerby picked them up and contacted us," she said.

An ambulance met the vehicle on the way back into Port Alberni and transported the three women to West Coast General Hospital, where they are being treated for minor injuries.

Allan said she didn't know whether the four people were dressed appropriately for the weather.

Approximately 10 centimetres of new snow had fallen in the area in the past day, and an RCMP member "said when they got out of their vehicle they went down into the snow to their waist.

"Certainly, this could have been far worse than it ended up. Any one of them could have succumbed to hypothermia, especially if they had spent some time in the river," Allan said.

"It appears they went looking for adventure and they certainly got one."

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