For the second time in as many days, Shuswap Search and Rescue were called out to the Sicamous area to assist with a snowmobiler who was suffering from chest pains.
On Dec. 28, at 1:27 pm., crews were called to Morton Peak in the Owl’s Head recreation area, roughly 15 kilometres southwest of Sicamous, to help an Alberta man who had been sledding and began experiencing chest pains due to a possible heart attack.
Due to the remote location, Shuswap Search and Rescue again requested assistance from the Vernon helicopter winch team.
“We had reports there was fog up there but somehow the helicopter managed to find a window to get in,” John Schut, os Shuswap Search and Rescue says. “They literally had to package up the patient in six minutes and get out of there because darkness was coming in and they had to get out before then.”
Ten members of the Shuswap team were mobilized in the parking lot of the recreation area readying snowmobiles for the 45 minute trip to go in for the rescue in case the helicopter couldn’t make it.
The day before, the helicopter team had been able to airlift a man suffering a spinal injury from Blue Lake.
“In both these cases, these men were very lucky. There was such a slim chance the helicopter could make it in, but they managed it both times. A ground rescue would have been much longer and rougher for those people,” says Schut. “It was fortunate it all lined up for these people.”
There is no word on the condition of the patient. He was airlifted to the Vernon airport and then transported by ambulance to hospital.
Schut says people heading into the back country shouldn’t be complacent and think a helicopter is standing by waiting to rescue them if they get into trouble.
“It doesn’t always work that way, so people need to be prepared with extra clothes, food and the ability to make fire. People need to realize that if they need a rescue, they can be out there a long time.”
Schut says both rescues were aided with help from members of the Eagle Valley Snowmobile Club.
“In both cases, they have been most helpful,” he says.