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

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Rec users are not entitled to access to range

DND land is excluded from local control, says letter writer

Foot ferry service in Nanaimo won’t happen this summer

Island Ferries says it still needs to secure funding

Goalie gear found in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Mounties want to return goalie gear to owner

Thieves steal tents meant for Nanaimo school’s Grade 7 camping trip

Businesses, staff and parents ensure trip goes on

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Strengthening privacy laws should be an election issue

In other places, political parties are held to the highest standards of openness, says letter writer

Timbermen beat league’s first-place team

Nanaimo’s senior A lacrosse team handles Maple Ridge Burrards 11-6

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Suggested street names bizarre

Letter writer would be mortified to live on any of Lantzville councillor’s bizarrely named streets

Complex with more than 200 apartments pitched for Nanaimo’s south end

Construction planned for next spring on Junction Avenue in Chase River

Nanaimo teachers’ union president worries new deal could see job losses

Teachers’ federation and Ministry of Education negotiating with contract expiring at month’s end

Historian recalls Nanaimo’s drunken disorder back in 1890

Imagine the seamen’s surprise when they found themselves inside a brewery, writes columnist

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Most Read