An RCAF Cormorant helicopter crew hoisted two people in need of medical care from Nelson Island, on the Sunshine Coast, early Saturday morning.
The two women had fallen from a balcony, and because of limited road access to the area and difficult beach terrain, BC Ambulance called Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria to request assistance with the evacuation.
The Cormorant crew from 442 Squadron took off from their base at 19 Wing Comox and was on scene at approximately 12:45 a.m.
“We had tall trees on the right and a steep drop off to the ocean on the left, so we all worked together to get the helicopter into a safe position to enable us to lower our three Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs) to the ground,” said Capt. Pete Wright, first officer.
The SAR Techs were lowered 80 feet where they met paramedics from Powell River who had arrived on scene on board the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Cape Caution.
Paramedics and SAR Techs worked together to secure both women on spineboards before putting them in rescue litters for the hoist into the hovering helicopter.
The helicopter landed at 19 Wing Comox at approximately 2:30 a.m. and transferred both patients in stable condition to B.C. Ambulance for transport to hospital. Their present condition is unknown.
Search and Rescue (SAR) incidents under the federal SAR mandate are defined as “all aircraft incidents and all marine incidents in waters under federal jurisdiction.
With the exception of federally owned National Parks, the overall responsibility for land and inland water search and rescue rests with the provinces, territories and municipalities. The Canadian Armed Forces may, however, provide assistance to land and inland water rescues when possible.
— 19 Wing