Injured climber rescued after falling down rock face near Campbell River
CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. -- Members of Vancouver Island's volunteer hoist rescue team have completed another successful mission after lifting a badly injured climber off a mountainside Tuesday afternoon.
Campbell River Search and Rescue Manager Daryl Beck says the call for assistance came in around 11:30 a.m.
"RCMP had asked us to attend to an urgent situation that had developed on Mount Warden just north of Campbell River," he says.
Beck says two people were climbing on Mount Warden and were attached to ropes when a 30-year-old woman fell 25 to 30 metres down the rock face. He says she sustained lacerations and injured her lower leg and hip. Beck says she was towards the end of her rope and her male climbing partner lowered her onto a ledge where rescuers then climbed up to assist her.
"Our members that did attend used our rock-bolt drill and were putting in security so they could rescue the young woman," Beck says.
Kerry Roberts is a hoist technician with Ascent Helicopters, the company dispatched to lower team members to the scene and then hoist up the victim.
"There's quite a steep cliff where people are doing their climbing, so for us to get our helicopter close enough was a bit of a challenge," he says.
The hoist team, made up by volunteers from both Comox Valley Search and Rescue and Campbell River Search and Rescue, has been in operation for two years.
Tuesday's mission is considered their most technically challenging operation yet.
"From the get-go of building this program, we always knew that as we got more training, we got more experience, we'd be able to build the complexity in and this one definitely had a little more terrain, certainly a steep slope, lots of different things to look out for," Roberts says.
The woman was air-lifted to the Campbell River Airport where she was transferred to an awaiting ambulance.