Search crews help snowmobilers

Vernon Search and Rescue called out to the Sicamous area to lend a hand

It was a busy 48 hours for Vernon Search and Rescue’s helicopter.

Twice the chopper was called to assist Shuswap Search and Rescue in dealing with injured or medicaly distressed snowmobilers in the Hunter’s Range area near Sicamous.

“Those two calls put us at 52 calls for the year, which is a record for us,” said Leigh Pearson of Vernon Search and Rescue.

“That’s eight more calls than the previous record. The week before last, we had six calls in seven days. It’s been a very busy time.”

In both cases on Sunday and Monday, a doctor was on board the helicopter, which was able to land in flat areas close to the snowmobilers, and the injured parties were flown to Vernon Regional Airport.

There, search crews were met by an ambulance who transported the injured sledders to Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

On Sunday, Vernon Search and Rescue received a call shortly before 1:30 p.m. about a snowmobiler with a suspected compressed fractured vertebrae in his lower back near Blue Lake.

The injured person suffered no paralysis.

“He was able to wiggle his fingers and toes, and he’s recovering nicely,” said Pearson.

On Monday, just before 3 p.m., Vernon Search and Rescue was again asked if it could bring the helicopter to help with a man having chest pains near Morten Lake.

The snowmobilers activated a spot beacon which helped the volunteer rescue crews pinpoint their location.

The Alberta man was taken to VJH and is expected to make a full recovery.