Air, land and water mishaps keep Comox Valley emergency personnel busy

This car plunged down an embankment off Mission Hill in Courtenay.  - Renée Andor
This car plunged down an embankment off Mission Hill in Courtenay.
— image credit: Renée Andor

It was a busy few days for emergency personnel around the Comox Valley as they aided those who found themselves in trouble in air, land and water.

Saturday, a 74-year-old pilot was airlifted to Victoria General Hospital for life-threatening injuries after his ultralight plan crashed into treetops in the Black Creek area.

Comox Valley RCMP said Monday they responded Saturday night to a report of a plane crash at 8408 Island Highway.

The plane was heard to lose power, and crashed into some treetops about 100 feet high, confirmed RCMP. The pilot fell from the plane, landing on the ground below.

He was taken to the hospital in Campbell River and later airlifted to Victoria General. His condition is unknown.

• • •

Monday afternoon, a woman who was tubing down the Puntledge River became stranded and awaited rescue by swift water rescue volunteers.

Paul Berry of Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue explained the rescue was relatively low-key, as the teenager was tubing from the fish hatchery and lost her tube.

"She was in a bit of a hole, and stable where she was so she just stayed put. The main concern is with her moving and then getting herself in a worse situation than she was already in," he told media.

Although this was the first rescue of the summer, Berry said he expects his team to be back to the river.

"We want people to enjoy the Puntledge River, but we want people to do it safely. If they have an inner tube, the 99-cent blue-light special is not what you should be in. You should be with other people for sure. A lifejacket would always help, absolutely," he added.

• • •

A volunteer heading home Monday afternoon from Vancouver Island MusicFest found herself at the bottom of an embankment after she veered off the road to make way for a passing ambulance.

Courtenay fire chief Don Bardonnex told media at the scene the woman was driving south into Courtenay near Muir Road on the Old Island Highway when she pulled over and hit a curb at the top of the hill, which pulled her vehicle to the right.

It then hit a tree and rolled down an embankment. Emergency personnel had to extricate the woman, who is in stable condition.

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