SAR rescues injured snowmobiler

Group praised for quick-thinking

Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) has praised a group of quick-thinking snowmobilers who helped to coordinate the rescue of an injured friend over the weekend.

About 12.15 p.m. on Sunday, Fernie SAR was called to an area known as the Pipeline near Morrissey, where a 23-year-old local man had sustained a significant lower leg injury while on his machine.

“There were about five of them snowmobiling when he came off his machine and hit some hard snow, and either dislocated or broke his ankle,” said head of Fernie SAR, Simon Piney.

“He was pretty tough, he refused any pain medication and hobbled to the helicopter with the help of his friends and us.”

It took SAR about an hour to reach the snowmobilers, who placed the injured man’s leg in a splint and prepared a landing zone for the helicopter.

He was transferred to the Elk Valley Hospital.

Piney said the group was well organized and experienced.

“They were able to get in communication with us, they were able to give us a latitude and longitude, they were able to provide first aid to their friend and they anticipated the need for a helicopter, and provided us with an area to land easily, so that makes a big difference,” he said.

Fernie SAR has responded to about six snowmobiling incidents and performed up to 10 skier rescues, so far this season.

Piney said the number of skier rescues was unusually high and could be due to more people trying backcountry skiing.

“I think there’s a huge trend, and it’s across the province, of increased number of people wanting to access the backcountry,” he said.

“It’s growing exponentially and that’s not just in Fernie but in many places.

“I think that’s a combination of greater publicity of people doing that sort of stuff and the equipment getting better and better, so that gives people more confidence.

“There are just more people out there and if more people are out there, more people are going to get themselves into trouble.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean they are badly prepared – accidents happen and from our point of view, we don’t judge whether people should or shouldn’t have been there.

“The real question is what are you going to do if it does happen and how are you going to get hold of help.”

Piney said anyone heading into the backcountry should prepare for the worst and carry the equipment they would need to self-rescue.

“Whether that’s first aid or avalanche equipment – a shovel, beacon and probe is the minimum for avalanche terrain,” he said.

“Cell phones don’t work great so either a satellite phone or some sort of personal locator beacon… the ability to provide first aid is also a big plus.

“If stuff goes wrong… it’s nice to know that help is on its way rather than having to spend a lot of time working out how to get help.”

Just Posted

Cattle truck crash closes Hwy 3 near Jaffray

A detour route is available via Betania Rd

|Between the pipes| Part three: The Goal

A special feature series by Riley Fonger, Fernie Ghostriders starting goaltender

Committee to oversee expansion of Teck coal mine in Sparwood

Socio-Community Economics Effects Advisory Committee formed; plus other District of Sparwood news

Accused in Fernie stabbing case remanded in custody

Livan Chris Barnett is scheduled to appear in Cranbrook Law Courts via video on December 17

Hosmer woman victim of a broken health system

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

‘Are we going to play?’ Alberta boy with rare illness no big deal for classmates

Porter Stanley is one of 30 people in the world to be diagnosed with Beare-Stevenson syndrome, a craniofacial disorder.

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Story of the Year:: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Stricter drunk driving laws to take effect across Canada today

It gives police officers the right to ask for a breath sample from any driver they lawfully stop

The prize was wrong: Man turns down trip to Manitoba

A New Hampshire man won the prize on “The Price is Right”, but turned it down because the taxes were too high

Publication ban on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school lifted

Reimer’s family had supported an application by Black Press to lift ban

B.C. securities regulator probes ‘most expansive’ alleged trading scheme in its history

Liht Cannabis Corp states it’s doing internal investigation, welcomes BC Securities Commission probe

Air passenger rights: 6 things about what the Liberals are offering

For 3- to 6-hour delays, compensation is $400. Between 6 and 9 hours, $700. Over 9 hours is $1,000

RCMP, civilian vehicles rammed in North Okanagan incident

Police attempt to stop truck near Enderby, thought to be tied to alleged Salmon Arm armed robbery

Most Read