Two people were rescued on Thursday, Aug. 4 from the Elk Falls canyon area waterway in a joint response by the Campbell River Fire Department, Campbell River Search & Rescue, RCMP and BC Emergency Health Services.
One of the individuals rescued had apparently suffered a lower back injury after jumping from a 15-metre cliff into the water. In a co-ordinated effort, the fire department used technical rope rescue equipment to lower firefighters into the canyon to assess the two and administer medical aid, while Search & Rescue crews mobilized two boats used to extract the two people to a waiting ambulance.
“When fire crews arrived the two were found on a rock ledge and they confirmed they were unable to make their own way out,” said deputy fire chief Chris Vrabel. “It was fortunate timing for the two as the John Hart was not spilling water that day, which allowed rescuers to safely extract the two people from the ledge.”
Users of the canyon are urged to not jump from the cliffs or swim in the canyon area. These types of risk-based activities not only put the jumpers and swimmers at risk, but also put the rescuers at risk.
“The canyon area is a very challenging place for rescuers to carry out these types of operations. It is a time consuming process that involves multiple agencies and multiple rescuers,” said Vrabel.