Campbell River Search and Rescue was prepared for the worst on Saturday by sending swift water rescue technicians (shown here in training) to rescue trapped hikers near Myra Falls. Photo: Campbell River Search and Rescue

Hiker suffering head injury extracted from Myra Falls area of Strathcona Park

One of eight calls Campbell River Search and Rescue have responded to since May 1

Summer is here and that means busy days for Campbell River Search and Rescue (CRSAR).

This past weekend required CRSAR volunteers to be dispatched to two calls, the seventh and eighth since May 1.

“This time of year we pretty much expect 3-4 calls a week for SAR events,” Grant Cromer, CRSAR manager, said in a media release.

On Saturday, a hiker struck by a falling rock and his companion stranded the north side of Myra Creek in Strathcona Provincial Park had to signal to people on the side of the creek accessible by a public trail in order to get help.

Help came in the form of CRSAR helicopter and land-based teams.

“On Saturday we had a call to respond to what was initially reported as an injured hiker suffering from a head injury after falling near Myra Falls in Strathcona Park,” Cromer said. “Initial reports led us to believe pair of hikers were trapped on the far side of Myra Creek near the lower pool after receiving a head injury from swimming near the falls. We anticipated a worst case scenario for this particular area and dispatched a rope rescue and swift water rescue team by ground and sent an advanced medical rescue team in by helicopter to get an assessment of the scene first.”

The medical rescue team was able to land near the subjects and determine one male had non-life threatening injuries and the other was uninjured. Both males were loaded into the helicopter and flow to a landing zone close by where they were met by ground SAR teams and then transferred to BCAS.

“This one turned out well and it could have been much worse with the location being as it was, in the end, the two males had been hiking on a ridge above Buttle Lake and become lost, descended down to the lake near the falls and had dislodged a rock which struck one of the males in the head, they then made their way to Myra Falls and signalled to people at the falls they needed assistance,” Cromer said.

This was the second of two calls for assistance from CRSAR on the weekend. On Sunday July 8, they received a call for assistance from a group of five hikers on Brooks Peninsula, a very remote area of Vancouver Island off the west coast.

The report was that they had missed their scheduled pick up with a water taxi and were left stranded; they didn’t have enough food and water to make it to a suitable pick up point and signalled for help.

“We were fighting daylight on this call, in order to get a rescue team in by helicopter we have to use Zeballos as a base which means transporting subjects back and forth from Brooks Peninsula,” Cromer said. “Combined with refuelling breaks/flight time we would have run out of daylight, so we opted to send just the pilot in with an empty machine, this allowed us to transport five out in one flight rather than leave our members on the beach overnight.

“We use very experienced pilots who are familiar with SAR operations and in this case it was the best option. The subjects were picked up and released to the RCMP in Port McNeill.”

Overall CRSAR expects a very busy summer. Medical rescues and lost/overdue hikers make up the bulk of their summer calls. The technology today with cell phones, Personal Locator Beacons and satellite phones make it easier for subjects to get hold of SAR in an emergency and it makes it easier for CRSAR to find them.

“We spend less time looking for people in the backcountry and more time rescuing them, which is the general provincial trend in the last five years,” Cromer said. “We are well prepared for medical rescues in the summer months and we have a very good response protocol. We generally have to access most of these calls by helicopter and send in three advanced medical care members who stabilize subjects and often load them in the helicopter or package them for ground evacuation.

“We have a very comprehensive backcountry medical response kit that allows us to stabilize and treat most any injury we come across.”

Just Posted

Ladysmith Interact club students inspired and inspiring

Ladysmith Secondary School group making a difference in their community

IIO doesn’t recommend charges after motorcyclist death in Mill Bay

An off-duty VicPD officer was involved in the crash

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

VIDEO: Kitten rescued from under school bus in Duncan

School staff have affectionately called kitten “Axle”

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Woman guilty of impaired driving in death of Vancouver Island pedestrian

Man in his 70s killed in 2016 Courtenay multi-vehicle incident

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Windstorm topples tree onto townhouse in Nanaimo

Heavy winds have thousands of B.C. Hydro customers without power

Most Read