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Rescuers go from river to mountain

Aug 04 2012
Master Cpl. Alexandre Demers prepares to be hoisted onto the side of 2,197-metre-high Golden Hinde, the Island's tallest mountain, during a mission to rescue an injured hiker on Thursday. 

Master Cpl. Alexandre Demers prepares to be hoisted onto the side of 2,197-metre-high Golden Hinde, the Island's tallest mountain, during a mission to rescue an injured hiker on Thursday.

Photograph by: Master Cpl. Rainer Roedger, 442 Squadron , timescolonist.com (August 2012)

An air force helicopter crew was kept busy by back-to-back rescues, including hoisting a girl from the Quinsam River near Campbell River.

A CFB Comox-based Cormorant was on a training exercise Thursday when it was directed to the Quinsam River, where a girl had been thrown from an inner tube and was clinging to a log.

The rescuers were onscene within 20 minutes of being requested by Victoria's Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre.

Capt. Luc Coates, commander of the aircraft, said the girl's red life-jacket helped the crew to spot her.

She was taken to Campbell River Airport and transferred to an ambulance as a precaution.

As the helicopter was being refuelled, another distress call was relayed from Strathcona Park.

A hiker on Golden Hinde, the Island's highest summit, had fallen and needed to be evacuated from a cliff face at an altitude of 5,000 feet. An RCMP helicopter was there when the Cormorant arrived and helped the crew pinpoint the injured hiker's location.

Despite spray from a waterfall obscuring their view, crew members lifted the man to safety.

The hiker's two companions were also flown out of the area.

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