Hurt hiker hoisted to safety

A hiker suffering a lower leg injury was hoisted to safety thanks to Search and Rescuers and a Cormorant helicopter crew from Comox.

A hiker suffering a lower leg injury was hoisted to safety after  Search and Rescue crews from Lions Bay, near West Vancouver, and an RCAF Cormorant helicopter teamed up early Sunday morning.

Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Victoria received a call from Lions Bay Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) at approximately 11 p.m. Sunday night seeking assistance to hoist a hiker from a steep box canyon.  The hiker, accompanied by two companions, had fallen amongst loose gravel on a backcountry mountain, approximately five km east of Lions Bay.

The helicopter, from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron, left 19 Wing Comox and flew to the hikers’ last known position and where it began to orbit in search of the trio. The aircraft arrived overhead at approximately 3:30 a.m.

“A GSAR team got to the hikers first and we were able to speak to them and confirm their position when we asked them to flash their lights to us on command,” said Capt. James Loose, First Officer on board the Cormorant. “We had to deal with the steep terrain and trees, so we hoisted our Search and Rescue Technicians to the ground from 130 feet in the air.”

Despite the darkness, GSAR and the RCAF helicopter crew worked well to extract the injured hiker and the two other hikers. The three were flown to Vancouver International Airport, where the injured hiker was transferred into the care of BC Ambulance. The injured hiker’s present condition is unknown.

— 19 Wing Comox