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Busy week for Search and Rescue in Elk Valley

SEARCH AND RESUCE HARD AT IT IN THE LIZARD RANGE - submitted photo
SEARCH AND RESUCE HARD AT IT IN THE LIZARD RANGE
— image credit: submitted photo

Fernie Search and Rescue members were involved in the dramatic rescue of an injured hiker on Mt Proctor late on July 19.

British Columbia Ambulance Service (“BCAS”) received a call for assistance with a report of a female hiker injured somewhere up the Fairy Creek Trail. Fernie Search and Rescue were dispatched to locate and extract the subject, with initial reports suggesting that she would not be far off the main trail near the creek. It turned out that the pair of hikers were actually a long way up the mountain, having followed a very steep drainage down from the top of the mountain, with one of them eventually slipping and falling down a loose rocky section resulting in a number of injuries including a badly injured ankle.

Due to poor weather and very difficult terrain it took some time to locate the hikers by helicopter, with FSAR members then being dropped higher up the mountain where it was safer to get out and then scramble down to the hikers and offer first aid and assess extraction options.

Due to the steep terrain and the fact that the injured hiker was difficult to move a request was made for longline helicopter rescue but with little daylight left this was not available. FSAR members eventually assisted the injured party to an exposed ridge where the helicopter was able to hover and the party and their two dogs were loaded and extracted back to Fernie where they were met by BCAS.

Fernie Search and Rescue had a busy week last week with five call outs.

FSAR were also called out on Saturday evening to assist Kimberley Search and Rescue locate and recover the body of a drowned swimmer at Murray Lake, and on Sunday night to assist Elkford Search and Rescue locate three missing people on the Elk River between Line Creek and Sparwood.

On Wednesday the RCMP requested the assistance of Fernie Search and Rescue after a distress signal was received from a SPOT device near Wranglers Cabin. The distress signal came from a lady in her 50s whose truck and horsebox had become stuck in the mud on Morrissey Creek Road after missing the turn to Lodgepole and becoming lost.

Friday night the RCMP and Fernie Search and Rescue went to investigate reports of someone calling for help on Lake Koocanusa at around midnight. The person was ultimately picked up by a boater and returned safely to shore.

This call volume draws heavily on volunteer time and energy and the valley is fortunate to have so many dedicated individuals willing to give up their evenings and nights to help others.

“We would like to thank our members for their time and dedication numerous times this past week,” said Kat Robinson, one of Fernie’s Search Managers.

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