Rescuers from CFB Comox had to overcome bad weather

Crew members from 442 Squadron had to deal with bad weather on the west coast of Vancouver Island when they rescued a hiker earlier this week.

Crew members from 442 Squadron had to deal with bad weather on the west coast of Vancouver Island when they rescued a hiker earlier this week.

A Cormorant helicopter from 442 Squadron at 19 Wing Comox was tasked Tuesday evening to evacuate an injured hiker from the West Coast Trail.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre received a call from West Coast Trail Search and Rescue that they required assistance to evacuate the injured man since the sun was setting.

“The weather was particularly bad on the west coast of Vancouver Island,” said Capt. Scott Dockeray, aircraft commander. “We had to rely solely on our instruments, as we were flying in heavy rain and fog. We could barely see 800 metres in front of us.”

Once the crew located the hiker, Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs) were hoisted down into a heavily treed area, where they assessed the terrain and the patient to determine the best extraction method.

“The SAR Techs advised us on the radio that they required more time than the amount of fuel we had to complete the mission and make it to Victoria General Hospital,” continued Dockeray. “We found a suitable location on the beach where we could land and conserve our fuel. We indicated to the Rescue Co-ordination Centre that with the weather deteriorating, it would be preferable to bring the patient to Victoria International Airport and transfer him to BC Ambulance.”

Once contacted by the SAR Tech, the Cormorant proceeded to extract the team with the patient.

As planned, BC Ambulance took on the care of the patient at the airport.

The patient’s current condition is unknown.

— 19 Wing Comox

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