Hope Search and Rescue has a busy weekend

Chilliwack and Kent Harrison members called out to assist

Hope Search and Rescue had a busy day on Saturday, responding to three separate incidents.

The first call was mid-afternoon, when a man drove his dirt bike over a steep embankment on Nickelmine Road and fell more than 200 feet.

Kent Harrison SAR and Valley Helicopters brought in a Bell 407 and Chilliwack SAR members conducted a HETS (long-line) rescue. HETS rescue technician Josef Seywerd was shocked by the rider’s apparent good fortune.

“Aside from a few scrapes he appeared to be uninjured,” said Seywerd.

The man was transferred to an ambulance and transported to hospital. Attention was then turned to assist his friend who decided to go down and help his friend in need, but became stuck. With the assistance of Kent Harrison rope team, the man was pulled out of danger.

While they were still on the first call, Hope SAR was called to another emergency on the Coquihalla River at the popular Othello Tunnels area. Two young adults had been swimming in the river when they were overwhelmed by the current and were swept downstream through a treacherous canyon to a section of the river between the first and second tunnel. The two swimmers were able to make it to shore, but both were stranded on the far side of the river. Valley Helicopters and the SAR teams used long-line helicopter techniques to assist the injured female using an aerial rescue platform (ARP). The uninjured male was also evacuated by long-line.

The third call for assistance came minutes after rescuing the two swimmers.

Hope SAR regrouped at home base and got the equipment needed to begin a search for a missing 16-year-old boy who was hiking a few kilometres south of Silver Lake on Skagit Valley Road. Chilliwack SAR once again assisted on the rescue.

“The terrain was steep and rugged and it initially appeared as if the search might be a long one,” said Hope SAR manager Mario Levesque. “Fortunately SAR teams located the teen, unharmed, just after 11:00 p.m.”

On Aug. 5, Hope SAR returned to Othello Tunnels after a call by BC Ambulance (BCAS) to respond to an injured hiker. The woman was hiking with her husband near the first tunnel when she fell and injured her head. An initial team with an Emergency Medical Responder arrived shortly on scene after receiving the call from BCAS. While they assessed the woman and provided first aid, BC ambulance arrived and transported her to hospital.

The team was also called out by the RCMP on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. to search for a missing 51-year-old man.

He was supposed to return from hiking Mount Hope Lookout Trail by 4 p.m., but after waiting a couple hours friends made the call to police and reported him overdue.

A ground crew began the arduous hike up Mount Hope Lookout Trail and Valley Helicopters was able to launch an aircraft and fly over the summit.

However, with darkness approaching, the helicopter was called off since the individual had walked out of the woods. He was tired, needed water and was looked over by the BCAS.

The three-hour search concluded at 10:30 p.m.

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