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VIDEO: B.C. Search & Rescue unit involved in saving man from 200-foot fall

The team was deployed twice in the same day

Tuesday (April 23) was a busy day for the Comox Valley Search and Rescue (CVSR) team, as they were deployed twice in a span of a few hours to save three individuals.

The first call was in the afternoon as the team was summoned to a multi-agency operation involving the RCMP and ambulance services.

“We were activated at 4 p.m. to assist the BC Ambulance (Service) with what was reported as a significant fall (of approximately) 200 feet into the Trent River canyon,” said CVSR public information officer Paul Berry.

As emergency vehicles flocked to the Highway 19 Trent River bridge, first respondents and CVSR volunteers hiked down to the river bed to rescue a man sustaining life-threatening injuries.

“We had 20 members from our rope rescue team, as well as medical staff and members on standby in case we needed (extra help to get) the individual out of the canyon,” added Berry.

As BC Emergency Health Services paramedics and RCMP were first on the scene, they began administering first aid and launched a helicopter to rescue the man because of the extent of his injuries, explained Berry.

“The BC ambulance helicopter was able to land in the canyon, very close to the individual. It was a very tricky and skillful flying on the part of the pilot,” Berry said.

Despite the delicate nature of the operation, the emergency teams managed to stabilize the man who was transferred shortly afterwards to the Victoria General Hospital.

Second incident

Just as CVSR returned home and was finishing restocking equipment, they received a second call for two stranded climbers on Mount Albert Edward.

“We were able to fly to the site and conduct a helicopter evacuation,” said Berry. “We were able to land and get them on board just before the last light. We flew them back to Raven Lodge to their vehicle.”

Berry said the rescue team’s quick reaction most likely prevented a situation that could have gone sideways.

“It had to be fast otherwise, it would have been there overnight and we would have been hiking in,” said Berry. “(The two hikers) just got themselves in a very precarious dangerous position and made the right decision to call while there was still daylight.”

To learn more about CVSR, visit cvgsar.com

RELATED: 50 years later, Comox Valley Search and Rescue still needs a permanent home

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Olivier Laurin

About the Author: Olivier Laurin

I’m a bilingual multimedia journalist from Montréal who began my journalistic journey on Vancouver Island with The Comox Valley Record in 2023.
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