West Kootenay SAR crews helped to rescue a man on Saturday afternoon injured in a mountain biking accident. Photo: Rossland Search and Rescue

West Kootenay SAR crews rescue injured mountain biker near Rossland

Crews were called in to help after the biker seriously injured himself at around noon Saturday

Rossland Search and Rescue (RSR) crews helped rescue an injured mountain biker on a local trail called SMD on Saturday.

The incident happened when the mountain biker seriously injured himself while biking in a group on the trail around noon.

Shortly after, RSR seach and rescue manager Andrew Duncan said his crew received a call from the province’s emergency co-ordination centre to help rescue the biker. The biker also requested a helicopter to help evacuate him off the trail.

Luckily, Duncan said a search crew member was biking in the area and stumbled upon the group to help with the rescue operation.

During the rescue, a helicopter owned by High Terrain Helicopters was dispatched from Nelson to retrieve the man from the trail.

As it drew closer, a technician attached to a rope underneath the helicopter helped to secure the injured biker and transport him to safety.

As the helicopter transported the biker to the Paterson border crossing, Duncan said a BC Ambulance driver waited, loaded and transported the biker to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail.

Duncan said the rescue mission was flawless.

“In general, the operation went exceedingly well,” said Duncan.

“For an operation that would typically take 30 or more people and four to five hours, this took about eight search and rescue members and was done in just under two hours.”

Nelson Search and Rescue crews, two BC Ambulance members and an RCMP member also assisted with the operation.

While the biker is banged up, Duncan said medical professionals are hopeful that he’ll make a full recovery.

Duncan said he has a few tips for recreationists who find themselves injured on a trail, particularly as his group tends to get more search and rescue calls in the summer.

“As volunteers, if we’re able to get mobilized from our hall, get out in the field and access the patient in under two hours, that’s a very rapid response time for us.

“You need to have enough supplies and safety gear to keep you dry, to splint, or to do minor first aid until we get on scene. It really does take time.”


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@castlegarnews.com

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