A photographer from the Comox Valley had to be airlifted to safety Saturday after breaking her ankle during a hike on the Rosewall Creek Trail.
Friends that she was hiking with called 911 for help.
The woman’s injury was serious enough that rescuers decided hoisting her out of the area would be easier and a lot faster than walking her out on a stretcher.
“So the regional hoist team consisting of Comox Valley and Campbell River SAR teams flew to the site, we dropped two hoist techs to the site, secured the patient into a stretcher and hoisted her approximately 170 feet back into the helicopter,” said Grant Cromer, Search Manager with Campbell River Search and Rescue.
The helicopter, which was from Ascent Helicopters in Parksville, flew the injured woman to the Courtenay Airpark, where it was met by a waiting ambulance. She was then taken to hospital where she underwent surgery for her injury.
It was the third hoist rescue performed by the team in just over a week.
Last Saturday, a seriously injured man was hoisted off Mount Arrowsmith after he fell over 20 metres, and on Thursday two hikers and a dog were rescued from a cliff on Mount Albert Edward.
“Calls are up all over the Island,” said Cromer. “With the weather getting better and some of the COVID regulations being relaxed we’re seeing more people into the backcountry for sure.”
The Regional Hoist team is in its second year and serves all of Vancouver Island.
“It’s definitely a unique angle when it comes to the rescue. It doesn’t expose as many people to dangerous terrain or bad weather,” added Cromer. “It definitely has its plusses for medical rescues with quick extraction, getting people out and to primary care is always an urgency so this is a big benefit especially when people are in the backcountry.”