Two SAR rescues in past week | Squamish Chief

Two SAR rescues in past week

Local group helps injured speed flyer, finds lost hikers

Squamish Search and Rescue made a challenging rescue on Sunday, July 12, taking care of an injured speed flyer who crashed onto the ledge of the Malamute.

Rescue manager BJ Chute said SSAR received a call from the BC Ambulance Service around 5:30 p.m. to assist BCAS and District of Squamish Fire Rescue in getting the speed flyer to safety.

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"We set up two systems. We set up a rope rescue system as well as called in Blackcomb Helicopters to use the winch," Chute said. "Ultimately, it was more efficient and quicker to use the winch system.

"A team was lowered down to him, where he was assessed and treated for his injuries."

From there, the patient, estimated to be roughly 30 years old, was taken to Stawamus Elementary School. BCAS then transported him via air ambulance to a Vancouver hospital.

"I don't know the extent of his injuries. We did treat him for spinal precautions as well as internal injuries, but I don't know what the ultimate outcome was for him," Chute said. "He did start at the top of the Chief, but he lost flight, we think, around 9.1 metres (30 feet ) from the mountain."

 

According to Chute, 20 SSAR members responded to the call, and their work was done around 10 p.m.

The local rescuers only other call of the past week came the evening of July 8, when it found two lost hikers. Chute said SAR was called in by the RCMP around 7:15 p.m. to track down the pair, thought to be on the third peak area of the Stawamus Chief.

The crew of 12 discovered the duo uninjured around 9 p.m. and completed the walkout around midnight.

Chute said the pair of young men from the Lower Mainland had come up to hike the Stawamus Chief trail, but upon being informed it was closed, tried the Slhanay Peak Trail instead. While hiking, the pair went off trail and followed Olsen Creek before calling for help.

While the hikers were not prepared for a night in the backcountry, Chute said one thing they did right was to have a portable phone charger, which aided rescuers who followed the GPS signal and were able to stay on the line with the two men.

Chute also reminded those heading out into the backcountry to have a trip plan prepared and shared, to know how to use a navigation device such a map and have one on hand as Google Maps is not effective, and if you're lost, to call 911 as soon as you realize it.

For more information on how to plan a trip and a list of essentials to bring, visit https://squamishsar.org.

While this past stretch has been quieter than those in recent weeks, Chute said he and his team are prepared if there's another uptick in calls.

"I hope that this is the trend that we have for the summer, but I doubt that's the case. I hope that people are recreating more safely and taking the appropriate training and taking the appropriate essentials with them whenever they journey into the backcountry," he said. 

 

**Please note, this story has been corrected since it was first posted to state that it was a speed flyer who was rescued, not a BASE jumper, as first reported. The Chief was given incorrect information originally. We also changed the photo credit to Squamish SAR.

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