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Woman and dog found after 72 hours lost in B.C. backcountry

A woman and her dog are reunited with friends and family after wandering lost for 72 hours in the thick woods in southeastern B.C.

Louise Baxter, 52, was hiking with friends in the Jumbo Pass area on Sunday, but disappeared after taking her dog, a golden poodle named Maverick, out for a walk.

According to RCMP Sgt. Chris Newel, Baxter became disoriented after leaving her friends and started moving “west when she probably should have been heading east.”

Three helicopters, four search dogs, a drone and 35 search and rescue volunteers scoured the area looking for Baxter, who was in difficult, mountainous terrain.

Baxter told Newel that she saw the helicopters flying above and tried to flag them down, but no one saw her.

“If anybody’s ever been in a helicopter, trying spot a person in forested area is extremely difficult and a lot harder than you would think," Newel said in an interview on Thursday.

<who>Photo Credit: Kimberley RCMP

"I can’t imagine the emotion that would have gone through her seeing these helicopters and not be able to signal them in some sort of way."

The 52-year-old found water along the way and ate some berries, but didn’t have anything else to eat during the three day ordeal.

Eventually, Baxter and Maverick were found by search crews and on Wednesday she hopped off a rescue helicopter and right into the arms of her waiting husband.

Newel confirmed that both Baxter and Maverick are in good health.

With files from the Canadian Press.

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