Mid-Island search and rescue groups help five people in three incidents Monday
Search and rescue groups on the mid-Island had a busy Monday evening assisting five people to safety in three separate incidents.
The first occurred when Arrowsmith Search and Rescue was called by B.C. Ambulance to extract an injured horseback rider out of the Melrose Road area in Parksville.
Search manager Nick Rivers said the rider sustained an injured leg and ankle after being kicked by her horse. He said they treated the case as "high urgency" because a loss of circulation could have been limb-threatening.
"It's a really rough logging road that goes into there so with some of those kind of injuries it's very painful bouncing down the road," Rivers said.
The young woman was taken a short distance by ambulance where she was transferred to a helicopter and taken to hospital in Nanaimo.
A helicopter was also used in a second mission, this time to Strathcona Park where two women were hiking when one of them sustained leg and wrist injuries.
Paul Berry of the Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue told CTV News the women used an emergency beacon to summon help.
"Where they were located there is no cell signal so without it they would have been there overnight or someone would have been hiking out until they were able to get cell coverage," Berry said.
An RCMP helicopter airlifted rescuers into the park after searchers were able to get coordinates to locate the two women.
"We flew in a team with advance medical training and were able to splint and give her some medication and move her to the helicopter and fly her out directly," Berry said.
Crews hadn't even finished putting their gear away after that call when they were contacted again by the RCMP to assist a young man and woman who found themselves unable to get off an island where the Puntledge and Tsolum rivers converge in Courtenay.
"They seemed to be okay but just couldn't get back to shore so we dispatched," said rescuer Mike Bryan. "Obviously we were here quite quickly because we were already at the building."
Bryan said an inflatable kayak was used in the rescue because the ground on the island was almost like quicksand.
The back-to-back tasks come at a time when the team is already experiencing higher-than-usual call volumes.
The Comox Valley rescue team has responded to 24 calls so far this year, up from 17 at the same time last year.