A CH-149 Cormorant helicopter and a CC-115 Buffalo were called early last Sunday morning to aid ground search and rescue crews (GSAR) with the extraction of two climbers stranded on a cliff face.
Upon receiving the call shortly after 1:00 a.m., Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria immediately dispatched the SAR aircraft from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron at CFB Comox to an area off the Coquihalla highway, approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Hope.
Due to poor weather and lack of visibility, the Buffalo dropped flares throughout the night to illuminate the area. The Cormorant stayed on station until the clouds began to lift at sunrise.
“The weather didn’t allow us to get in initially,” said aircraft commander Lieut. Chris Carter, a United States Coast Guard exchange officer serving with 442 Squadron. “We picked our way through the clouds to where GSAR crews had last seen a light on the cliff face. Once we spotted the two, the SAR tech and Flight Engineer did a great job of hoisting the climbers aboard quickly.”
Despite being cold, both climbers were in good spirits. They were taken to Vancouver where they were transferred to the BC Ambulance Service.
— 442 Squadron