Arrowsmith Search and Rescue crews were dispatched twice within two hours on Wednesday (Aug. 18).
Search and rescue manager Nick Rivers said they received the first call at approximately 1 p.m. from the BC Ambulance Service, to assist an injured woman who required evacuation from Mount Schofield in the Cook Creek area.
The woman was riding a light all-terrain vehicle, and was injured when the ‘quad’ rolled over, causing what Rivers suspected were broken bones and internal injuries, before continuing to roll down a 200-metre embankment.
“She was lucky she was at the top and didn’t get sucked down with the quad,” he said. “However, advanced first aid protocols were required on site.”
ASAR members used utility terrain vehicles to get to the woman’s location while West Coast Helicopter provided assistance by intermittently transporting additional members to the nearest landing zone in the middle of an intersection on Highway 19 and Cook Creek Road, which was closed several times throughout the rescue.
One of the challenges they faced, Rivers said, was that since the helicopter could not physically land due to the uneven rock terrain on the mountain, it had to hover while the woman, now in a stretcher, was loaded.
Once loaded, the helicopter transported them back to Highway 19, where a ground ambulance was waiting.
The second call ASAR received was at 2:47 p.m., from RCMP asking for help locating two lost hikers in the Mount Cokely area.
“They did everything right,” said Rivers. “They were lost for a couple of hours up on the hill and then they decided to stop and call for help. Which is the best decision ever.”
He said, from their stationary position, ASAR was able to ping one of the hiker’s cellphones and they were found approximately six kilometres from Cameron Lake.
Once located, they were transported by UTV and returned to their vehicles.
“There’s been a few cases where people have gone up the CPR trail – and it ends into some new logging – and that is where they get off course and can’t find a train again. We’ve had that happen a few times lately, so we had a pretty good idea of where they were and how to get there.”
Both rescues concluded at approximately 6:30 p.m.
Rivers said that ‘double callouts’ don’t happen very often, but on average, at least once a year.