Packing in bear bells, hiking poles and a first aid kit, to hike to Rosewall Creek near Fanny Bay Tuesday, Jeanine Czeck was prepared for whatever the trail had in store.
“I love it because we’re from Calgary and having such big, huge trees and the fern gully, you feel like you’re in Jurassic Park,” said Czeck, who now lives in Cowichan Bay.
Yet two rescues took place at Rosewall Creek, during just the May long weekend alone.
“The trail experiences a lot of washouts through the winter months, and it can be very rooty and it just takes one misstep and someone can be injured,” said Paul Berry, of Comox Valley Ground Search & Rescue.
Comox Valley Ground Search & Rescue members responded to six separate callouts to save people in trouble over the long weekend.
“Medical evacuations, boaters in trouble, it was a busy weekend,” said Berry.
It started with the rescue of a 73-year-old hiker at Rosewall Creek Provincial Park on Thursday night, who had to be hoisted out by helicopter after he fell on tree roots and suffered six broken ribs, and a partially deflated lung.
The weekend ended with another rescue of an injured hiker in the same park, Monday night, and took until early Tuesday morning to safely get them out.
A third hiker in the Royston area had to be rescued on Monday after falling and breaking an arm. In addition SAR crews responded to three call outs to Comox Lake for boaters in trouble.
“It would be one of the busiest in the last few years for sure,” said Berry.
Rescuers urge people to set out this summer, prepared for the backcountry that can change quickly with weather, and is often out of cell range.
“You need to be familiar with the terrain, you need to know where you have cell coverage and do not,” said Berry.
As search and rescue volunteers prepare for what promises already to be a busy summer ahead.
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