Rescuers get Courtenay man home for Christmas

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue volunteers rescued a back-country skier trapped on a mountain ledge on Forbidden Plateau.


Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue volunteers rescued a back-country skier trapped on a mountain ledge on Forbidden Plateau on the weekend.

Comox Valley RCMP alerted CVGSAR to the situation around 12:30 p.m. Saturday when Lawrence Floucault, a Courtenay resident in his early-20s, was stranded in waist-deep snow after traversing down a slope.

With assistance from Arrowsmith SAR and Campbell River’s Helicopter External Extraction Team, volunteers initiated a ‘top-down rope rescue.’

Rescuers could maintain cell phone contact with Floucault, who was equipped with a GPS unit.

Unable to access the area by helicopter due to weather conditions, two ground teams of four were air inserted within one kilometre of Floucault. A third team of six reached the area by snowmobile.

Travel conditions were difficult due to steep terrain, heavy winds, snowfall and darkness. By 9 p.m. CVGSAR requested 442 Squadron to locate the wet and shivering Floucault, who was unable to light his stove. The squadron, however, could not access the young man due to considerable cloud cover.

Ground teams reached Floucault shortly before 10 p.m. After assessing his condition, they decided to continue through the night to find a safe route.

They eventually reached the parking lot early Christmas morning at the old Forbidden Plateau lodge site. Ambulance attendants assessed Floucault and three SAR personnel for exhaustion and dehydration. Rescuers then delivered Floucault to his family.

“This is what we train for,” CVGSAR Search Manger Paul Berry said. “This is what we do. We put aside our lives to assist those in need, regardless of the weather, time of day or special occasions. What better Christmas gift could you give parents than the life of their child?”

Two members helicoptered back to the mountains to retrieve the rope gear and Floucault’s equipment that had been cached.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rogan is a three-year-old border collie who has an 'incredible bond' between him and a family member. Photo by Erin Haluschak
‘Incredible bond’ credited for dog who assisted in emergency

Three-year-old dog Rogan came to the rescue of a family member who fell

A map of Comox Valley schools. Screenshot, Fraser Institute
Comox Valley schools near mid-pack in Fraser Institute rankings

A few schools went up or down a few points, but most came in with similar marks

Last year, the Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program operated at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital site. File photo
Christmas hamper program finds space in Courtenay

An annual Christmas hamper program in the Comox Valley has found a… Continue reading

During a public hearing in November, a Comox resident proposed the idea of a roundabout at the intersection of Lerwick and McDonald Roads. Google Maps photo
Comox development get the green light

The development - at 2309 McDonald Rd. - received third reading at the most recent council meeting

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre outgrown its space in the back of the Denman Island Community Hall. Photo supplied
Denman Island to have new preschool with metal roof

Thanks to a local government grant and community support, the Denman Island… Continue reading

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read