Rescuers with Arrowsmith Search & Rescue in central Vancouver Island had their hands full this week with two mountain rescues.
The first rescue occurred on Mt. Mark near Horne Lake on Tuesday and required helicopter assistance.
Nick Rivers, Arrowsmith SAR president and search manager, says the rescue team received a call of a man experiencing “some sort of cardiac event” near the peak of the mountain around 1 p.m.
“The hiking party did the right thing and called 911, and B.C. ambulance requested our assistance to retrieve the fellow,” he said.
Rivers says it was “tight” but the helicopter managed to hover close to where the man was located, allowing rescuers to drop down and quickly assess him.
The hiker was then brought onto the helicopter and flown down to where an ambulance was waiting.
“[The hiker] seemed to be improving and stable and he was able to get into the helicopter by his own power,” said Rivers.
Story continues below.
Rivers says Arrowsmith SAR was called to the same area on Friday evening, this time on Mt. Horne just across the lake from the first rescue took place.
During this second rescue, the hiker was quickly located, partly because they were prepared and because their friend called for help right away, according to Rivers.
“In both of these instances, everyone acted perfectly,” he said. “They had plans, they called right away. Textbook, they did everything right, it was really great.”
Rivers says it’s important that people make trip plans when they go on hikes and tell other people where they’re going before they depart.
He adds that when things go sideways, it’s important to call for help right away.
“It makes it better for everyone,” he said.
- Rescued hiker raises $33K for Comox Valley Ground Search & Rescue
- ‘We meet the nicest people’: Lasqueti Island brothers recognized for 35 years of search and rescue
Rivers notes that autumn is nearly as busy as summer when it comes to search and rescue activity.
Some backcountry areas that are closed due to dry weather conditions in the summer attract outdoor enthusiasts in the fall.
He recommends that people bring extra layers with them during fall activities, and warns that sweating during the day can rapidly cool you at night.
“The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting much colder, so having extra layers with you is really important,” he said.
He encourages everyone to enjoy the outdoors, “but let’s make sure it’s safe.”