Helicopter rescues injured hiker on Juan de Fuca trail

The man fell on the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail near Providence Cove, about four kilometres south of Port Renfrew, on a rugged portion of the isolated wilderness trail along the Pacific Ocean.

Because of their proximity to the U.S., the cellphone call was picked up on the other side of the border and rerouted to a Victoria emergency dispatcher. The Victoria Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre was called at 9:47 a.m.

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Emergency Health Services and about 20 volunteer members from Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue hiked the challenging part of the trail to reach the injured man near Yauh Creek, west of the Parkinson Creek trailhead. He had suffered significant upper-body injuries.

“It quickly became apparent that his injuries were too significant to endure what would be a very long rescue extrication,” said Vickie Weber, senior manager of the search-and-rescue team.

At 4 p.m., paramedics requested assistance, said spokesman Lt. Paul Pendergast of navy public affairs. The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre considered a rescue by water too risky because of the sea conditions and rocky shore. Instead, a Cormorant helicopter from Canadian Forces Base Comox was used to take the man to safety, Pendergast said.

The man was taken to Victoria General Hospital at 7 p.m., Pendergast said.

Search-and-rescue crews then had to hike back to the Parkinson Creek trailhead in the dark, Weber said.

— Times Colonist

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