Campbell River Search & Rescue (CRSAR) had a busy day with four calls in 48 hours in and around Canada Day.
Campbell River Search & Rescue was first dispatched last Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to respond to the West Coast Trail near Tsusiat Falls. A man had become trapped on a ledge near the Tsusiat Falls after climbing up to explore. He couldn’t go up or down and called for help.
“Parks Canada contacted us to provide our Class D Fixed Line (CDFL) Helicopter Rescue Team. This is a specialty team trained in long line rescue of subjects in hard to reach terrain,” Grant Cromer, CRSAR manager, said in a press release. “Our team flew to the West Coast and performed the rescue of the subject from the side of the waterfalls and turned him over to Parks Canada Public Safety Officers on scene. The subject was uninjured in the event.
“This is a great example of our CDFL team providing this service to the entirety of Vancouver Island,” Cromer said. “Campbell River SAR is the only SAR team on the Island with this speciality rescue capability. We serve the entire island from tip to tip plus the inlets up the coast to Bella Coola with this rescue service.”
Later on Thursday night at 10:30 p.m., CRSAR was paged to provide rescue to four people on King’s Peak near Gold River who had set off a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) emergency signal.
They were mobilizing for that call when they simultaneously received another call of a missing male in the Morton Lake area.
A man had gone for a hike and had not returned by nightfall.
“We were in the process of splitting our resources to attend both calls when we were informed the RCMP had contacted 442 Rescue Squadron out of CFB Comox and the Cormorant helicopter was going to attempt a rescue of the King’s Peak group,” Cromer said. “We were on standby for a first light deployment if the Cormorant was unsuccessful, so we moved our resources to Morton lake.”
CRSAR teams quickly located the missing man at Morton Lake near the campground, about the same time they learned 442 was successful in evacuating the four subjects from King’s Peak. “Overall, it was a very busy day for our teams, ending into two tasks wrapping up in the early morning of July 1,“ Cromer said.
But the demand was not over yet. On Saturday morning they were tasked again to use the Helicopter Fixed Line Rescue Team to assist Comox Valley SAR to rescue a woman who had fallen and received serious injuries near Auger Point Mountain in Strathcona Park.
Comox Valley SAR had already attended and packaged the subject and the CRSAR fixed line helicopter rescue team was needed to remove the subject from a steep rocky slope.
The team lifted the subject and transported her a short distance to another helicopter stationed nearby.
She was then transported to the Courtenay Airpark where she was transferred to a waiting BC Ambulance Service crew.
“We fully expect a busy summer,” Cromer said. “Typically our summers involve a lot of medical rescue from Strathcona Park and responding to PLB for lost/injured individuals in the back country.
“If there is one piece of advice we can pass on to the public, it’s plan your trip well, ensure you have enough food, water and have thoughtfully-planned your route and based the time against your ability,” Cromer said.
For more information on safe back country travel visit www.adventuresmart.ca