UPDATE: Mountain biker rescued in West Kelowna suffered severe neck and back injuries

In this file photo the Penticton Search and Rescue helicopter transport team prepares for a task.

WEST KELOWNA - A 54-year-old mountain biker who had to be rescued by helicopter near Smith Creek is in hospital with severe neck and back injuries, according to Penticton Search and Rescue.

Information officer Randy Brown says the man was riding with friends at the end of Smith Creek around 1:15 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 7, when the incident happened. One of the friends was able to call 9-1-1 and Penticton Search and Rescue were put on standby due to the remoteness of the area.

“They gave me a call back about 30 minutes later and said it would be too onerous to carry him out,” Brown says. “He has some severe neck and back injuries.”

Brown says the helicopter was released from forestry duties and was hovering above the patient within 15 minutes.

“The medics had the person already packaged so it was very easy for our fellows to attach the sling and bring him out. It was just minutes in and out and was very easy on the patient.”

Brown says if they had to take the patient out by ground it could have been hours and they would likely have had to involve rope team members.

“That’s the thing about why we get called is it’s easier on patients and we get them to the next level of care a lot quicker and it’s not as arduous on our search and rescue personnel.”

The status of the patient is unknown.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infonews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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