Burnaby man found dead in Lions Bay area, south of Squamish

Ryoji Fujita, a 37-year-old outdoor enthusiast, was caught in an avalanche

A 37-year-old man was killed in an avalanche in the Lions Bay area, south of Squamish, say search and rescue officials.

Martin Colwell of Lions Bay Search and Rescue identified Ryoji Fujita of Burnaby as the man who died.

article continues below

“I would call [Fujita] sort of an outdoorsman... quite experienced that does a lot of hikes in the Lower Mainland,” said Colwell.

Colwell said that rescuers — which included Squamish Search and Rescue and help from other Sea to Sky teams — found the man’s body on March 20.

Next of kin have been notified.

Fujita left for his trek on March 14, when he told a friend he was setting out to hike Hat Mountain.

When Fujita didn’t return, rescuers were mobilized and scoured the area, but with little luck.

Colwell told The Chief a turning point came when crews received a tip from adventurers who’d been in the area at the time. He said they reported a man at the peak of Brunswick Mountain, which is very close by.

“You could make out an outline of a person wearing dark clothing,” Colwell said, describing a photo sent to him.

Rescuers were also told that an avalanche had occurred in the area.

Search teams, avalanche dogs and helicopters were all thrown into the rescue efforts. RCMP and North Shore Rescue also were called in to help.

At the end, a helicopter with a special transmitter-receiver picked up a signal and allowed crews to trace Fujita’s location.

“Only a foot to a metre down, they discovered this man’s body,” Colwell said.

He said the device on the helicopter, called a RECCO unit, is relatively new to North America and could greatly change the way rescues are done.

“[Except in training,] this thing hadn’t been used operationally in this mode at all, and it worked,” he said.

Read Related Topics

© North Shore News

Comments

NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The North Shore News welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus
Community Events Calendar