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Sledder hauled to safety

Ten members of Shuswap Search and Rescue extricated a snowmobiler from a gully at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The sledder from Drayton Valley, Alta. had gone into the gully about 20 kilometres up the Owl’s Head Trail toward Blue Lake.

The team reached the injured man high above Sicamous at 6:15 p.m. and placed him on a backboard before the ropes team hauled him out of the gully.

“He was playing around, jumping a little knoll or something of that nature and ended up flying through the air,” says SAR search manager John Schut. “As he flew through the air, he parted company with his snowmobile and slammed into a tree without his snowmobile, which is a good thing. Otherwise he would not have been taken to hospital,” said Schut, referring to the likelihood of a fatality.

Once back on the trail, the sledder was taken down the trail on a toboggan towed by a snowmobile, arriving at a waiting ambulance at 7:30 p.m. The crew transferred the man to Shuswap Lake General Hospital. Schut says SAR team members who responded to the call suspected the sledder sustained rib injuries when he hit the tree.

He notes SAR members were grateful to local snowmobile club members and a trail groomer who remained with the injured sledder until they could extricate him. SAR is a volunteer organization whose members pay for their own gear.

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