19 year old hiker recovering after being rescued by a search team near Comox Lake late Saturday.
Falling snow and steep terrain hampered efforts to reach the victim who was in severe pain and hypothermic when crews found him.
“Took us a while to make contact with the subjects and then find out where they were located. One of the fellows hiked on out eventually and then led us back into the location” said Comox Valley Ground Search and rescue manager Paul Berry.
The area is near the Comox Lake dam and the Puntledge River where there is an extensive system of mountain biking and hiking trails.
The three men started out on a trail about 1km from the dam but then left the trail supposedly to cross over to another one.
That’s when the injury occurred and the man was unable to get himself out.
“They looked as though they were going cross country trying to skip from one trail to the next and so they were not on a trail system at that point and he stepped on a brush pile, there was a hole underneath, went through it and dislocated his knee at that point” said Berry.
17 members of the Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue team were involved in the three and a half hour operation.
They endured heavy snow and steep slopes and used ropes and pulleys just to reach the man.
When they did find him he was hypothermic and in severe pain.
“And we were able to stabilize the knee and splint it and get him packaged in a hypothermia bag and warmed up as we packed him out. It’s a long haul with someone in a stretcher in that condition” added Berry.
Berry says the three hikers were only wearing skate shoes and were otherwise ill-prepared for any kind of emergency.
“They certainly didn’t exhibit any first aid skills whatsoever so he had been left lying in the snow for quite some time so he was pretty cold and weren’t really prepared for being out. They’d been out for most of the day and didn’t seem to have food, water, all those essentials you would hope that they would have” he said.
They 19 year old victim was brought out at Bear Bait Trail to a waiting ambulance.
He was transported to hospital and is recovering.