Bamfield, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is home to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, visited by hundreds of students every year. ((Rick McCharles))

A bus carrying 10 students and two teachers from an Edmonton school that had been missing on Vancouver Island has been found, police said Monday.

The chartered bus took a wrong turn because of a missing bridge and got stuck on its way to the coastal town of Bamfield from Victoria.

The bus had been expected to arrive in Bamfield, which is reachable only by logging roads, about 10 p.m. Sunday.

That part of Vancouver Island doesn't have consistent cellphone service, so parents and school officials didn't learn until about 11 a.m. Monday that the Grade 12 students from Tempo School hadn't shown up at their destination.

"Parents were very anxious. It was not good," headmaster Peter Mitchell said. "But the relief after anxiety? It's sweet."


Because of poor cellphone service in the Bamfield, B.C. area, worried parents didn't find out their children hadn't arrived at their destination until Monday morning. ((CBC))

The news the bus had been found came late Monday afternoon when they got a phone call from someone with a logging company near Lake Cowichan, Mitchell said. The bus was pulled out and students resumed their trip Monday afternoon.

Parents with students on the trip met at the school about 6 p.m. MT.

"It gives you different thoughts of life and what's important and what's not important," said Dolores Reth, whose daughter was on the trip. "The important thing is that our daughter has been found."

The school group landed in Victoria on a flight from Edmonton Sunday and left about 5 p.m. on a chartered bus to Bamfield, home to a marine sciences research station visited by hundreds of students every year.

The students were supposed to make the trip to Bamfield by float plane, but fog forced the group to make other arrangements.

There are three different possible routes into the town, and the trip can be difficult to navigate after dark.

"A satellite phone would have solved the problem. There was no communication with the bus," Mitchell said.

Tempo is a private school with 380 students from kindergarten to Grade 12, according to its website. The students are scheduled to return to Edmonton on Thursday.