Emergency beacon leads to injured man

Campbell River Search and Rescue easily find two men in a remote location on the mainland coast

Campbell River Search and Rescue airlifted an injured adventurer from a remote spot on the mainland coast Wednesday evening.

When the call came for assistance from Port McNeill RCMP, three search volunteers, trained in swift-water rescue and advance First Aid, flew 40 minutes by helicopter to the emergency beacon signal.

With darkness setting in, two men in their 40s, one with a badly sprained ankle, were found along the Wakeman River, located northwest of Kingcome Inlet.

“The two men had been dropped off by helicopter a couple of days earlier some distance upstream with a canoe and supplies,” said search manager Grant Cromer.

“They were skilled canoeists and successfully negotiated a difficult canyon upstream of the accident. They were well-prepared and experienced in wilderness travel.”

They also took full advantage of their emergency beacon. Cromer said the condition of the injured man would have likely worsened if they had continued on their journey and credited them for using the beacon at the right time.

“The spot beacon co-ordinates in this case were very accurate and we found them within 200 metres of where the beacon had put them,” he said.

“We encourage all back country users that are on extended remote wilderness trips to carry a locater beacon or satellite phone of some kind.”

The searchers were also on high alert for grizzly bears on the mainland coast, especially this time of year when salmon are spawning in the rivers.

The two men were airlifted to Port McNeill.