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American hikers rescued from Golden Ears Provincial Park in multi-team operation

Coquitlam, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue pulled 3 hikers from Mount Robie Reid
Ridge Meadows and Coquitlam Search and Rescue teams rescued an injured hiker in a party of three people attempting to climb Mount Robie Reid on Sept. 7. (RMSAR/Special to The News)

Ridge Meadows and Coquitlam Search and Rescue teams combined forces yesterday afternoon to pull off a rescue operation at Mount Robie Reid.

Coquitlam Search and Rescue search manager Al Hurley explained that the RCMP call about a lone injured hiker came in at around 3:00 p.m. on Sept. 7, and was directed to Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue. But due to the nature of the location and a lack of available long-line rescue team members, the Ridge Meadows squad called in help from Coquitlam.

“We’ve had a long-line cooperative team for a number of years now,” said Hurley.

READ ALSO: Ridge Meadows search team trains on mountaintops

When they arrived at Mount Robie Reid, just north of Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park, the clouds added an extra challenge to an already difficult situation.

“The clouds were so thick, but we eventually found them and it turns out it was three people in the party with one injured,” said Hurley.

“We loaded the three of them in the helicopter and went around to the backside of Robie Reid where it was clearer, and then landed on the beach, where they dropped me off with the injured hiker before going back for the Ridge Meadows guys.”

Hurley said he was thankful a long-line rescue turned out not to be needed, because it would have made the rescue significantly more dangerous for everyone involved.

“It was so cloudy that I’m not sure we could have even done a long-line rescue,” he said. “The helicopter would’ve had to be 200 feet above the clouds, and I didn’t exactly feel like being dangled around through the clouds like a yo-yo so close to rocks.”

After assessing the injured hiker, it was clear to Hurley that they weren’t dealing with a severe or life-threatening injury.

“I believe it was a buildup of lactic acid, because they had a pretty bad leg cramp that seemed to ease up when we gave them fluids.”

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Operations like this are a perfect reminder that search and rescue members always need to be prepared for anything, said Hurley.

“These rescues are always a changing situation,” he said. “In this case, we thought it was one person at first and then turned out to be three.”

With the American hikers safely rescued from Golden Ears park, Hurley hopes that no one else gets in trouble this weekend.

“It’s going to be a beautiful weekend and I hope we don’t get any calls.”

Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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