Dramatic Mountain Escape
Friday, January 4, 2013 - 3:47 PM
By Contributor: CFB Comox
The crew of an RCAF Cormorant helicopter assisted in the medical evacuation of two people who were injured Friday, January 4th, in a vehicle accident near Toba Inlet, British Columbia.
The patients had been riding in a pickup truck when it lost traction on a snow-covered logging road and began sliding down a hill. Moments before the pickup went over a steep embankment, the four occupants leapt from the truck, although two sustained injury in the process.
Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria received a call for assistance from Emergency Health Services after poor weather and low clouds prevented an air ambulance from responding to the scene.
“There were already first responders on scene and they had provided us an exact location where they were,” said Captain Luc Coates, aircraft commander. “They had also cleared a landing site for us at a wide part of the road, making for a quick and efficient operation.”
Once on the ground, Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs) met up with first responders from a company doing work in the area.
“The patients were stable throughout and the medics had done a good job of keeping them warm and getting them ready for transport,” said Master Corporal Justin Cervantes, SAR Tech.
Once on board, the Cormorant was able to fly over the low clouds and deteriorating weather, arriving in Comox at noon, where the patients were transferred to an ambulance for transport to hospital.
Search and Rescue (SAR) incidents under the federal SAR mandate are defined as “all aircraft incidents and all marine incidents in waters under federal jurisdiction. With the exception of federally owned National Parks, the overall responsibility for land and inland water search and rescue rests with the provinces, territories and municipalities. The Canadian Forces may, however, provide assistance to land and inland water rescues when possible.
Photo: Toba Inlet, courtesy of Natural Resources Canada.