Victoria Day weekend 'more than busy' for Vernon Search and Rescue

FILE PHOTO: Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter winch rescue team in a training session.

VERNON - It’s been a busy weekend for Vernon Search and Rescue.

By Monday afternoon, May 22, the rescue team have been called to five different events. Pete Wise, the search and rescue manager, says they’ve been called out to four rescues and assisted with one evacuation.

“We’ve been more than busy,” he says. “What we’re seeing is more and more and more people going out, getting into trouble, and then calling us.”

Saturday had the most calls, with three he says, while yesterday there was just one, to help evacuate a family of three after a landslide on the west side of Okanagan Lake. Today there has only been one, so far, a mountain biker in Myra Canyon.

On each of the four rescue calls the team have found and brought the injured people to safety he says, but there’s been some serious injuries, including skull fractures and spinal injuries to bikers in two different incidents.

“The fellow that was up on Hummingbird Creek, he was very badly injured; had skull fractures,” he says.

In another case a woman lost consciousness while hiking in Okanagan Mountain Park, 13 km from a trailhead.

The search team just had their busiest year ever last year, with over 70 call outs. One of the big things Wise says, especially on a busy weekend, is having the helicopter with medical personnel on board.

“We have doctors and medics right on board,” he says.


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