This weekend provided one of the busiest 24 hour periods on record for the Kent Harrison Search and Rescue, with more than 140 volunteers and numerous back-to-back call outs.
Help was needed in four major incidents, beginning Saturday evening when two people on a SeaDoo hit a gravel bar.
The young Greendale couple became stranded for several hours, on the gravel bar on the Fraser River near Seabird when their SeaDoo wouldn’t start.
By the time KHSAR members reached them, also on SeaDoos, the couple were cold and suffering from insect bites. They had launched at Island 22, and arrangements were made to get their truck and trailer to them.
Hours later, at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, a man was in a single vehicle accident while driving along the Lougheed Hwy. on Mt. Woodside. Suffering from head injuries, the man left his vehicle and made his way off the road, through the Harrison Highlands development and down to the railway tracks.
It was there that he tried to flag down a train. He was located by the RCMP, and KHSAR members helped the man get to the paramedics.
At about 11 a.m. on Sunday morning, a paraglider became lodged in a large fir tree on Mt. Woodside.
The man was very close to the top of tree, almost 125 feet up, said Neil Brewer from KHSAR. The man and the tree were very close to the paraglider landing site, below the Koffee Kettle Cafe. The man wasn’t injured, but it took an arborist’s help to reach the man.
Brewer said the process was complicated by the paraglider canopy, which had become tangled in the branches.
As that paraglider was being lowered, another paraglider injured his hip during a hard landing. KHSAR members assisted paramedics in accessing that pilot.
Then on Sunday night, a distress call came in from a “SPOT” satellite beacon, 21 km west of Boston Bar. Kent Harrison and Hope Search and Rescue crews responded, through the emergency coordination centre in Victoria.
The satellite transmission was helpful in locating the caller in the Kookipi Valley, south of the Nahatlatch.
Brewer said that while BC Ambulance, Hope and Chilliwack SAR were responding by helicopter, Kent Harrison sent two vehicles with two ATVs up Harrison East FSR to provide back-up, if the aircraft were forced to abort due to failing light.
Fortunately the BC Ambulance helicopter was able to evacuate the injured people and transport them to Royal Columbian.