The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)

Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

A hiker needed rescuing after venturing into an unsanctioned area of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and becoming injured last week.

The hiker was exploring the park reserve with friends when the group wandered off a designated trail and found themselves navigating through steep terrain where the hiker fell.

One of the group called 911 and the dispatcher alerted Parks Canada to the situation around 3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 18.

Nathalie Chouinard-Nolet, a visitor safety technician with the park reserve, told the Westerly News that the injured hiker was stranded near the park reserve’s southern border at Cox Bay.

“The hiker had slipped and injured her leg and she could no longer bear weight on her injured leg, so she couldn’t walk anymore,” Chouinard-Nolet said. “From our knowledge of the area, we knew that where the injury occurred it includes some steep, rocky terrain.”

She said a Parks Canada visitor safety team arrived at the site to assess the situation and quickly realized more help would be needed, so the West Coast Inland Search and Rescue crew was called in to assist.

“We had a great response from the team to carry the stretcher through the steep rainforest trail,” read a Facebook post from WISAR. “Our rope team leap frogged to set up some simple belays leading to a fast and safe task.”

Chouinard-Nolet said the park reserve is grateful to have volunteer groups like WISAR to lean on when situations arise.

“We’re really fortunate for a remote rural area to have such a great network of emergency service providers and community members that we work with,” she said. “It’s really important.”

She said rope rescue techniques were used to lift the injured hiker to safety and the evacuation took roughly five hours with the hiker being transferred to BC Ambulance personnel around 8 p.m.

“When we’re dealing with steep, rocky terrain, it does require some sort of rope rescue techniques to be able to do that safely. We wouldn’t want to cause other injuries, so that’s pretty extensive and it takes a little bit more time,” she said.

While the rescue was successful, the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging hikers never to chase untrodden terrain and instead always stick to the trails and beachheads they’re used to.

“Designated trails are actively maintained and often have infrastructure in place to inform visitors and reduce the risk of injury,” Parks Canada said in a statement. “Safety is everyone’s responsibility. At Parks Canada, we do our part to help visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience by managing hazards and making safety information available to everyone. Hikers can do their part by staying on designated trails and being prepared.”

Chouinard-Nolet added that, along with sticking to designated trails, hikers must always be prepared before they head out to explore.

“It’s easy to place judgement on hikers who do sustain injuries, from my point of view it’s really, really important to remember that accidents do occur,” she said. “It’s really important for hikers in the National Park Reserve to stick the designated trails and waterfront facilities. Those are the areas where we do have have infrastructure in place to inform visitors and reduce the risk of injury and that includes areas like the Rainforest Loops, Long Beach, and Florencia Bay.”

She said anyone planning to explore the park reserve should make sure they tell somebody about their plans and expected return time, dress appropriately for the weather and be wary that weather can change quickly, and carry essential items, like food water, headlamps and a communications device.

“What can seemingly appear to be a short hike in an area that really isn’t very far from anything, can become much more involved if someone in your group suffers an injury,” she said. “By having all the essentials you’ll be in a better position to call for help, keep warm and dry and prevent the situation from getting worse.”

She added that the group the hiker was with had been prepared and able to reach out for help when a member of their party became injured.

“Those were key pieces to help reduce the severity of that incident and they did that very well,” she said.

Anyone interested in learning more about how to explore the Park Reserve’s beaches and forests safely can find further information at CoastSmart.ca and AdventureSmart.ca.



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: Storm watchers urged to be careful after two rescued from Ucluelet shoreline

READ MORE: Woman rescued after falling off Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail

READ MORE: Dramatic rescue renews Tofino and Ucluelet’s pleas to bring lifeguards back to Long Beach

HikingPacific Rim National ParkParks CanadarescueTofino,ucluelet

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An architectural rendering of the five storey condo building at 201/203 Dogwood Drive. (BJK Architecture photo)
Five storey condo building proposal at Dalby’s proceeds to public hearing stage

Frank and Mike Crucil of FMC Holdings are hoping to turn Dalby’s Automotive into a five storey condo

Jimmy Seymour was recognized for his outstanding work as the solid waste operator for Stz’uminus First Nation. (Submitted photo)
‘He has a way with the community’, Jimmy Seymour recognized for his dedication to Stz’uminus First Nation

Jimmy Seymour uses his job as solid waste operator to spread kindness through Stz’uminus

LSS’s Parallel Players are hosting an online improv show. (Parallel Players photo)
Ladysmith Secondary School improv team hosts livestream performance

Perfomances will be held Thursday, March 4 and Friday March 5 at 7 p.m.

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Missing woman’s remains recovered from Ladysmith harbour

The remains of a 60 year old woman were recovered after a boat fire took her life on Feb. 27

Ladysmith Secondary School. (File photo)
Ladysmith Secondary reports another COVID-19 exposure

This makes LSS the school with the most exposure days in the Island Health region currently

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read