Alberni Valley Rescue Squad rescues 57-year-old man from Cathedral Grove

Alberni Valley Rescue Squad rescues 57-year-old man from Cathedral Grove

The Alberni Valley Rescue Squad is warning hikers to pay extra attention to conditions following a rescue over the weekend.

The Search and Rescue group was called out Saturday night after a 57-year-old man got lost.

It started out as a hike from Cathedral Grove Park Saturday but while the man was bushwacking near the park’s boundaries things took an unexpected turn.

“Due to the weather, he ended up becoming lost in the area. Obviously, Cathedral Grove is quite overgrown and has quite a large amount of tree growth so it’s very easy to become disoriented in the area,” said Richard Johns with the Alberni Valley Rescue Squad.

With darkness falling and unprepared for the conditions, the lost hiker called police around 8:30 Saturday night, who in turn called search and rescue.

Twelve members set out to find him locating him at 1 a.m. Sunday. They decided to bring in North Shore Rescue’s human external cargo team with a helicopter to airlift the man out.

“Just given the subject’s condition. He was quite hypothermic obviously causing him to become quite weak as well as the terrain was quite difficult with a lot of fallen old-growth and wet conditions in the area,” said Johns.

The team warmed up the man and monitored his vital signs until the helicopter team arrived at 7:30 Sunday morning.

“We needed to use the long line to rescue one subject and we had the Alberni Valley crews on scene block off a portion of the highway so we were able to long line the subject to the highway for the waiting crews and then transfer over to BC Ambulance,” said Jarrett Lunn, the responding pilot from Talon Helicopters.

The Alberni Valley Rescue Squad says the rescue underscores the need for people to be prepared when heading into the great outdoors.

“Make sure you have a proper trip plan in place, people know where you are and take those essentials with you. Make sure you’re ready for the weather conditions. Check the weather and make sure you’re dressed properly and you have supplies to last overnight,” said Johns.

The squad says it’s a volunteer agency and it can take some time to find people, especially overnight.

Alberni Valley Rescue Squad recommends using the Adventure Smart app whenever heading outdoors which allows you to share your trips plans with others.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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