Large response to rescue injured hiker near Nanaimo River


Dozens of firefighters and search and rescue technicians, with the help of some rock climbers, helped rescue a man near the Nanaimo River Saturday.

The man was injured after falling four meters over an embankment sometime in the morning.

Some hikers and rock climbers in an area known as Sunnyside heard him calling for help from the opposite side of the river in the afternoon and called 911 before going to help.

Three fire departments and 15 members of Nanaimo Search and Rescue arrived to help pull the man up the steep terrain, known by rock climbers as the Dark Side.

“It took us a little while the find the patient first of all,” said Lt. Jacob Kruger from the Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department. “We had to travel four or five hundred yards into the forest off a beaten path to find him.”

Some campers near the area said they chatted with the man late Friday night. He went into the bushes that night and they thought it was a potentially bad sign when his vehicle was still there in the morning and there was no sign of him.

“It was a fairly technical rescue involving multiple pitches, using dual rope systems,” said Allen Tonn, a Nanaimo Search and Rescue manager who was part of the unified command on the rescue.

“They had to do a couple of assessments and a couple of rises to get the subject out.”

The man being taken to an ambulance waiting on the scene after being extracted.

Crews successfully placed him on a spine board and pulled him up some rock faces with ropes.

The operation took four hours, from when the call was placed to the man being taken away by ambulance

Rescue crews transferring the man to paramedics.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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