Vancouver Island rescue crews were dispatched to several calls for help over the Victoria Day long weekend, from a hiker, cyclist and boaters.
Early Sunday evening, the Alberni Valley Rescue Squad was called to help a hiker who had fallen nearly 30 feet while hiking at Sarita Falls, a remote location east of Mount Blenheim in Alberni-Clayoquot. The squad said members of the hiking group called for help using an OnStar system in one of of their vehicles.
According to a Facebook post from the rescue squad, crew members got to the scene by helicopter and through Bamfield Road. The fallen hiker was located and assessed, with crews determining they had sustained serious lower-body injuries.
A helicopter from CFB Comox 442 Squadron was used to fly the injured hiker to the hospital. The condition of the individual is unknown.
In its post, the rescue squad says Sarita Falls is a beautiful but remote location, and reminds hikers to always have a way to call for help, and “remember that it could be some time to get to you depending on your location, conditions, and other factors.”
Also on Sunday, a mountain biker needed assistance from Arrowhead Search and Rescue after landing badly from a 10-foot jump on a trail off Cook Creek Road in Bowser.
Arrowhead search and rescue manager Ken Neden said the team was called in around 2 p.m. when B.C. Ambulance crews were unable to reach the injured cyclist.
With assistance from bystanders, the search and rescue team was able to get the man, believed to be in his 50s, to the waiting air ambulance. A safety line was used for extra stability.
“They took him away in an air ambulance,” Neden said. “It went pretty efficiently.”
Around noon on Sunday, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria was called to respond to a boat on fire off the coast of Qualicum Beach.
A response boat was dispatched and crews rescued two people from the burning 40-foot pleasure craft, which eventually sank around 6 p.m.
According to a spokesperson from the Canadian Coast Guard, both people were transported for medical care via B.C. Emergency Health Services. Their conditions are unknown.
The sunken boat had more than 1,000 litres of diesel fuel and three propane tanks aboard. The Coast Guard’s Environmental Response Team is now monitoring the area for fuel leaks.
Ahead of the long weekend, the B.C. Search and Rescue Association said call volume was “already at a record high.”
On May 18, the group launched a new educational video series about the top 11 trails that generate the most search and rescue calls in the province, in hopes of reducing calls for help.