Cormorant copter crew rescues injured hiker on West Coast Trail

A CH-149 Cormorant helicopter from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron was dispatched to evacuate an injured hiker on the West Coast Trail near Nitinat Lake on Monday afternoon.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria received a call from Parks Canada around 12:50 p.m. Monday, requesting Canadian Forces assistance to evacuate a hiker suffering from a lower leg injury.

Upon arriving in the area, the Cormorant crew dropped off a Search and Rescue Technician (SAR Tech) on the beach, who then proceeded on foot to locate the injured man who had been stabilized by park staff from the Huu-AY-Aht First Nation.

“They provided great first aid, and they should really be commended for their work,” said MCpl Christian Morrissette, SAR Tech. “We realized however, that the only way to get him out of the forest was by hoisting him out.”

“We needed everyone’s help to spot and position for the hoist,” said Capt. Jean Leroux, aircraft commander. "We had 35-knot winds and all we could see through the low clouds were a few treetops.”

Once the hiker was on on board, the Cormorant flew him to Tofino, where he was transferred into the care of the British Columbia Ambulance Service. Despite being in pain, the injured man was in good spirits.

— 442 Squadron

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