Rescuing people in need can’t compete with annual barbie

After one of the busiest summer search and rescue seasons on record for the team, Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue team members and family were just sitting down to relax Wednesday at their annual barbecue.

After one of the busiest summer search and rescue seasons on record for the team, Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue  team members and family were just sitting down to relax Wednesday at their annual barbecue.

Suddenly, they were contacted by Victoria’s Emergency Co-ordination Centre and advised of a lone hiker, from Victoria, and her dog who were lost in Strathcona Park after a solo hike to Mount Albert Edward.

Team members abandoned the barbecue and with light failing fast, departed for the mountain.

One of two teams was met by helicopter at the base of Mount Washington and conducted a rapid air search but with only 15 minutes of flight time until dark were unable to locate the subject and were inserted at the ranger cabin near Hairtrigger Lake and assigned to search three likely locations.

A second team began the long hike in the dark towards Mount Albert Edward starting form Raven Lodge with multiple assignments on the way.

Utilizing past search history, SAR managers predicted a likely route of the missing woman and dispatched a third team to drive to a location near Diver’s Lake and to sound the vehicle siren. The missing woman contacted search managers to let them know that she had indeed heard the siren and the team was sent off to navigate towards her location.

Two hours of difficult hiking brought CVGSAR members face to face with the woman who was assessed and then hiked back out to the waiting vehicle. She and her dog were transported back to Raven Lodge, where she was assessed by BC Ambulance staff and transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital for further assessment and treatment.

CVGSAR members on all teams, particularly the helicopter inserted team displayed amazing night navigation skills in difficult terrain and were back at Raven Lodge by 3 a.m., says Paul Berry of CVGSAR to pack up equipment in readiness for the next operation.

It must be remembered that all members of CVGSAR volunteer their time, expertise and in many cases their own equipment, at their own expense to conduct this important work. All of the 22 members involved in Wednesday evening’s operation were required to be at their places of work Thursday morning.

For those venturing into the back country be aware that trails are in many cases still obscured by snow, making route finding much more difficult.

Do your research before heading out. Be prepared. Have the gear and the level of fitness required to travel in the planned terrain. Having a map, and being skilled in the use of compass and GPS are essential in such conditions.

Staying put if lost and communicating with RCMP and search officials makes the process finding you much easier.

— Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue

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

Just Posted

The current location of Comox Valley Search and Rescue on Moray Avenue in Courtenay. Google Maps photo
Comox Valley Search and Rescue aiming to purchase a roof for their rescuers

Their goal is to raise between $1.2 and $1.5 million, approximately the purchase price of a facility

A bear is seen walking down Alderwood Place in east Courtenay Sunday (May 9) morning. Video screenshot/Kristie Cave
Video: Bears spotted throughout Comox Valley

Hide food sources, keep garbage away: conservation

Carter Woods was first across the line at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Saturday in Altstadt, Germany. File photo
Cumberland mountain biker wins World Cup race in Germany

Carter Woods of Cumberland won a World Cup mountain bike race Saturday… Continue reading

The flowers of Darmera peltata (Indian rhubarb) before the leaves emerge. Photo by Leslie Cox
DUCHESS OF DIRT: Plenty of ‘wow’ factor in the garden in spring

Leslie Cox Special to The Record I can’t help it. I like… Continue reading

WestJet in flight. Black Press file photo
Two COVID exposures on WestJet flight into Comox

The BC Centre for Disease Control has posted advisories for two separate… Continue reading

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

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

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Most Read