Search volunteers spent hours scouring a steep hillside looking for a mystery hiker they believe called for help Tuesday morning.
A photographer working near the log boom south of Bear Creek Park heard what sounded like a distressed human voice calling out a dozen times from above Westside Road.
"She told me she'd heard an individual call out for five minutes," said Paul Toupin of Central Okanagan Search and Rescue. "She couldn't tell if it was male or female. It sounded like someone who was in anguish or trying to scream."
Someone could have been in trouble or a participant in a "vigorous boot camp" was exhausted and in pain, she said.
RCMP launched its helicopter to search for the phantom hiker but strong winds grounded the aircraft minutes later. Two Mounties and a conservation officer climbed the terrain nearby. They called nine COSAR members to help comb a wider area of hillside above the log boom.
The volunteers criss-crossed a wide swath of steep terrain several hundred metres above the road, calling out and blasting whistles.
No one responded.
They looked in places a hiker may fall into and checked trees that could have fallen on someone. RCMP knocked on doors to see if anyone was missing and checked unattended vehicles.
By dusk, the search crews agreed to call off the search unless they get more information: either someone is reported missing or a witness hears the voice again.
COSAR is asking anyone who can explain the apparent calls for help to contact RCMP.
"That would be really useful for us," said Toupin.