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Letter to the Editor: Family of snowboarder rescued in Whistler sends thanks

'I cannot overstate what it meant to know such a brave, knowledgeable team was out there looking for my brother'
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Whistler Search and Rescue volunteers saved a snowboarder from Singapore last month after he spent three nights lost on Whistler Mountain.

To the brave men and women of the Whistler Search and Rescue (WSAR): My name is Wen Hui Toh. I am the younger sister of Wen Yi, the snowboarder that your team rescued from the top of Whistler [Mountain] on Dec. 19 following a two-day search [in] inclement weather.

I am reaching out on behalf of my family: my mother, Siok Har; my father, Beng Khoon; my sister, Wen Jing and my husband, Robert. We are eternally grateful to the team at WSAR for rescuing Wen Yi.

The support, well wishes, and kindnesses we received from our extended family, Wen Yi’s friends, and members of the Vancouver- Whistler community are all a testament to the person that Wen Yi is—the person we all have you to thank for bringing back to us.

Although we were not in direct contact with your team during the search (every update we received was second-hand via Terry Salman and the RCMP team), we were assured at every turn that Wen Yi’s fate was in the best hands with your team. And now we know firsthand WSAR’s expertise and unceasing determination.

When Wen Yi had gone missing, we were left helpless and lost.

WSAR’s exhaustive efforts gave us comfort and allowed us to persevere through the unknown. I cannot overstate what it meant to know such a brave, knowledgeable team was out there looking for my brother.

Our family recognizes the risks and potential sacrifices that were taken by your team in searching for Wen Yi, especially in the midst of inclement weather and avalanche warnings.

WSAR is an incredible group, made all the more remarkable being an organization of volunteers. My family is indebted to the families of every volunteer, whose own loved ones risk their lives in service to others. We will never forget what you have done for our family, and want to do all we can to ensure that every family brought to these terrible circumstances can receive your team’s invaluable services.

To this effect, my family would like to support your organization and its brave men and women in the form of a donation.

There is of course no amount of money that could sufficiently reflect our gratitude, but please consider [it] a small token of our appreciation, and an opportunity for us to help ensure other families can benefit from your tremendous service.

Wen H. Toh // Singapore