Helicopter team rescues woman who fell on West Coast Trail

Rescuers were lowered from a helicopter Wednesday afternoon to pluck an injured woman from the West Coast Trail.

The woman was taken to Victoria General Hospital in stable condition. She had suffered an unspecified injury earlier in her group’s journey and tried to keep going, but finally had to stop. The group summoned help with a marine radio.

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Weather conditions were poor as the crew of the Cormorant helicopter from the Comox-based 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron headed to the trail, and de-icing equipment had to be used.

“They certainly had to fight through some rough weather,” said Air Force spokesman Capt. Trevor Reid. He said the helicopter encountered sleet as it made its way to the woman and her companions near Cullite Cove, about 17 kilometres from Port Renfrew.

A pair of search-and-rescue technicians descended about 52 metres from the hovering Cormorant into a tree-lined ravine, described as “a very tight spot” by the pilot, Capt. Amanda Lauder.

Two members of the woman’s hiking group were police officers trained in first aid. “They were certainly able to help the search-and-rescue technicians,” Reid said.

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