Wells Gray Search and Rescue team was put to the test Tuesday night when a rider fell from his horse near Wells Gray Park.
Around 4:30 p.m. on June 7 a 62-year-old male from Melbourne, Australia was bucked off his horse. He suffered injuries to his right clavicle, shoulder blade and hip. There was also a loss of consciousness and possible neck injury. BC Ambulance attended but was unable to extricate the patient due to the rugged terrain. They requested the assistance of search and rescue through the Provincial Emergency Program. A group of seven SAR members attended; six headed out to assess the patient while a seventh ran communications and logistics from the command post.
At 10 p.m. a SAR medical team determined it was not plausible to move the patient over the difficult terrain. The patient was stabilized and prepared for the night. A team of three stayed the night while other members returned to Clearwater.
At 4:30 a.m. a brushing team was dispatched to clear a suitable landing area for a helicopter. At 7:20 the patient was airlifted to Royal Inland Hospital along with a SAR paramedic.
The team faced several challenges during this operation, swift water rescue technicians and horses were utilized to transport equipment over a fast flowing creek. The terrain was deeply rutted, rugged and at times swampy to add to that it rained, heavy at times for the first fours hours.
Peter Prendergast, senior regional manager for the Provincial Emergency Program passed this on to the team, “Your extraordinary efforts and dedication to the citizens of B.C. and in this case an international guest are a testament to your calling as volunteers and highly skilled, unpaid professionals.”
Clearwater RCMP would like to thank the Wells Gray Search and Rescue team, Liquid Lifestyles, staff at Wells Gray Ranch, and local residents for the support and effort during this difficult yet successful operation. Yellowhead Helicopters provided prompt and professional transport.
“This was a well organized operation that faced difficult challenges, it involved the services of many, most of whom are volunteers. Their commitment and service to the community is to be commended,” said Cpl. Chris Newel.