The stars aligned yesterday for a 61 year old solo hiker on Mount Seymour. While traversing the North aspect of Tim Jones peak, the subject slipped and took a significant 60 foot fall off of the trail. Luckily, a number of hikers who were on the peak of Seymour, noticed him (60 feet down a gulley) on their way out, and were able to contact 911 to activate BC Ambulance and North Shore Rescue. With less than an hour left of daylight, the reported injuries were dire and included a closed head injury.

NSR immediately scrambled Talon Helicopters, and initiated a two pronged response with our flight team (who met the helicopter at our Bone Creek SAR station) and ground teams (who went straight up to Mount Seymour). Talon Helicopter pilot, Jarrett Lunn was able to insert an advanced medical team, which included an NSR Emergency Room Doctor, via hover exit on Tim Jones Peak. This team quickly accessed the patient and treated him on site while the helicopter returned to base to rig for a longline rescue.

With just moments of daylight left, an NSR HETS technician was inserted to the scene where the patient was packaged and delivered to BC Ambulance Advanced Life Support Paramedics for transport to Lions Gate Hospital. This was a classic time compressed call, where life and death, were literally dependent on the skill and experience of our flight team, medical crew, and members. This individual sustained multi-system trauma and would likely not have survived a ground based evacuation or prolonged exposure to the elements. Good Samaritans, Remaining daylight, Helicopter Available, Physician Available, Experienced Flight Rescuers Available – The stars truly aligned.

This call highlights a number of general but key learning points:

  • It is generally safest to travel with a friend – if you fall or are incapacitated, you cannot always rely on other hikers to be there, or to notice.
  • Carry extra clothing, even if only going for a quick hike (A puffy jacket and fleece pants jammed in your backpack may save your life!)
  • With Sunset so early in the afternoon, if you get into trouble, call 911 immediately. Do not hesitate (in this case, the good Samaritans called right away which likely saved his life)