April 15, 2015 - 3:10 PM
LUMBY - An injured logger stuck down a 500-foot embankment has been rescued and transported to hospital.
The victim was one of three workers injured when a tree reportedly fell on them in a remote area east of Lumby Wednesday morning.
The industrial accident is under investigation by WorkSafe B.C. and spokesperson Scott McCloy says early information is Peto Contracting employees were working a cut block for Tolko Industries.
According to RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk, two of the men were able to walk out on their own, but the third required a full scale rescue. Vernon Search and Rescue deployed a helicopter winch rescue to the scene, which police described as being roughly 34 kilometres off of Highway 6, and then another 35 km into the bush.
Leigh Pearson, a spokesperson for Vernon SAR, says the helicopter winch rescue proved invaluable.
“It kind of saved the day,” Pearson says. “Our guys on the helicopter crew, it kind of pushed them to the limit with the technicalities of what they had to do.”
The winch, an extendable cable used to retrieve the patient, was extended about 250 feet (the maximum is 300 ft) and crews had to navigate B.C. Hydro lines and cables from the logging operation, Pearson says.
“The subject was 500 feet below the road in really rough country, really brutal,” Pearson says. “(A ground rescue) would have bounced the subject around in a stretcher. If he had any serious injuries, it was just going to aggravate them.”
The victim was flown by B.C. Air ambulance to Kelowna General Hospital. His injuries are unknown.
WorkSafe B.C. dispatched a prevention officer and two investigators to the scene Wednesday, and McCloy says they are taking the situation “extremely seriously.”
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—This story was updated at 12:07 p.m. April 15 to include information from WorkSafe B.C. and again at 3 p.m. to include information from Vernon Search and Rescue.
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