Back-to-back calls for SAR helicopter

Back-to-back calls for SAR helicopter

Vernon Search and Rescue chopper called to rescue sledders near Clearwater and Enderby

Vernon Search and Rescue’s helicopter winch rescue was in demand Sunday.

The unit was called to a pair of separate incidents in the B.C. Interior to help rescue injured snowmobilers.

“We actually didn’t use the winch in either case,” said Vernon SAR search manager Leigh Pearson.

First call came from the Blue River/Clearwater area, around 2 p.m. Sunday, to help rescue an injured sledder with a broken leg.

While crews were helping with that case, a second call came, at around 4 p.m., to see if the helicopter winch could help an injured snowmobiler with a back injury on Hunter’s Range near Enderby.

“On the first call, we took the patient to the airport in Kamloops,” said Pearson. “Normally we’d fly to the hospital but because we got the second call, the helicopter needed refueling so we had an ambulance meet us at the airport.”

A ground team was deployed via snowmobile to assist the injured sledder on Hunter’s Range, due to rather inclement weather, and a landing pad was cleared for the copter nearby. The injured snowmobiler was taken to Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

Search and Rescue crews completed their duties by 9:30 p.m.

Both snowmobilers had been riding with groups of people at the time of their injuries, and it was others in the groups who called for assistance.