North Shore Rescue called to West Coast Trail to help injured hiker

Members of North Shore Rescue’s helicopter long line team found themselves dangling from a rope off the west coast of Vancouver Island Wednesday morning as part of a rescue on the remote West Coast Trail.

The team got a call from the joint co-ordination centre in Victoria in the early hours of Wednesday morning and flew out of North Vancouver at 6:30 a.m., said team leader Mike Danks.

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It took the helicopter about an hour to fly to the west coast of the island, where they were met by Canada Parks staff. Two North Shore Rescue technicians flew into the remote location at the 72-kilometre mark on the rugged trail, where a hiker had fractured her leg. The team then hoisted her out to safety with a long line.

Danks said because there’s only one helicopter rescue team on Vancouver Island – based in Comox – the team does get called out to the island from time to time. In this case, the Comox team had no helicopter pilot available, he added.

On Tuesday afternoon, the North Shore Rescue helicopter team hoisted another hiker – a 43-year-old man from the North Shore – to safety at about 5 p.m. after he also fractured his leg while hiking in the Haynes Valley.

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