Woman rescued after becoming disoriented while hiking near Comox Lake

WatchA Victoria woman had to be rescued after she slipped and fell on some rocks while hiking on Saturday evening near Comox Lake.

A Victoria woman had to be rescued after she slipped and fell on some rocks while hiking on Saturday evening near Comox Lake.

The woman was camping at nearby Cumberland Lake Campground when she decided to head out for a solo hike sometime during the afternoon.

According to Comox Valley Search and Rescue, at some point during the hike, she became disoriented and slipped down onto some very steep terrain about 800 metres beyond an area above Comox Lake known as Devils Ladder.

“This was an example of someone who went out for a short walk without any other sorts of equipment that we would hope that people would have with them, said Paul Berry, search manager with Comox Valley Search and Rescue. “She was lightly dressed, did have a coat but just running shoes, but no other equipment. No food, no water.”

Fortunately, the one piece of equipment the woman did have was a cellphone, which she used to call for help.

Berry said it wasn’t until about 10:30 p.m. that crews were notified and although it was a “straightforward” operation, it still took them around four hours to actually reach her.

“We put two teams in on the water up Comox Lake we were able to spot her from the water. She was quite a ways up very, very steep terrain. But we nosed the boat in and put two teams in with rope and they up climbed to where she was located put her in a harness and laid her back down to the boat and were completed by about 4 a.m. this morning,” he said.

The woman had managed to wander about a kilometre away from her campsite and Berry said she is lucky she wasn’t hurt, given that the rocky terrain where she fell was steep and wet.

“She was not hurt at all,” he said. “Just a little bit scraped up from her bum slide down the mountain.”

Another thing the woman had going for her was the weather. Berry said although it had rained earlier, she didn’t have a coat and was lucky it didn’t rain later in the night.

“Had the rain come as it was expected to she would have been very wet and very cold,” he said.

Berry says the woman’s experience should serve as a reminder for people be prepared when heading outdoors without the proper gear and essentials such as food and water.

“We certainly encourage everyone to get the training that they need, know how to navigate and take the equipment that they need the essentials, that they need to look after themselves in the event that something goes wrong.

However, for those who don’t bother venturing out into the wild prepared, Berry says they should, at the very least, let someone know where they are going.

“Let someone know where [you are] going. Someone reliable, who can put out the call and say they were going to go to this place,” he said.

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Nicholas PescodNicholas Pescod

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