A snowmobiler had to be airlifted to hospital for serious injuries after a mishap on Blue Lake above the Owl’s Head Recreation Area near Sicamous Sunday afternoon.
The call went out at 1:20 p.m. Dec. 27 reporting that the snomobiler had been injured, likely with a compression fracture to his lower spine. Nine members of Shuswap Search and Rescue (SAR) were dispatched to assist.
“It was our understanding that it was some pretty serious injuries and that to get down into Blue Lake is a very steep climb,” says John Schut, with Shuswap SAR.
Schut says due to the treacherous terrain, a call was made to the Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter winch team, in hopes they would be able to more easily reach the injured man and get him to hospital.
“The weather yesterday was pretty iffy, with lots of snow and cloud around the mountains. We were not really sure if the helicopter was going to be able to go in, so we began to prep our snowmobile team to go in with a stretcher and toboggan and get him out that way, if need be.”
Fortunately, the weather cleared enough that, at approximately 3:40 p.m, the helicopter was able to fly in.
“We were sure thankful that the helicopter could do the job, because the route out of Blue Lake is pretty rough. It would have been a pretty nasty toboggan ride for a guy with a broken back,” says Schut. “We really appreciated the Vernon winch team that came to help.”
A paramedic was on board the helicopter to begin medical treatment for the injured man, who was then flown to Vernon Jubilee Hospital for treatment. His condition is not known.