Vernon Search and Rescue, with help from the Air Rescue One helicopter out of Wildcat Helicopters in Kelowna, and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue, were able to transport an injured snowmobiler to Vernon Regional Airport, where he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to Vernon Jubilee Hospital with a serious, painful back injury. (Facebook photo)

Okanagan helicopter rescue teams called to retrieve injured sledder at Greystokes

Vernon and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue help load injured man into waiting helicopter

A seriously injured snowmobiler was rescued using the Vernon Search and Rescue’s (VSAR) helicopter winch team and Wildcat Helicopters out of Kelowna Saturday, Feb. 27.

The man had been sledding with a group of people when struck something along the path and ended up with a serious, very painful back injury,

The incident happened before 12 p.m. in Greystokes Provincial Park near Big White Ski Resort, right near the border for attending calls for VSAR and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR).

“We took the call and worked in conjunction with COSAR,” said VSAR’s Trevor Honigman. “The key component in this rescue was the use of the Air Rescue One helicopter out of Wildcat Helicopters. We also had a ground team ready to go in if needed.”

Luckily, the chopper was able to land quite close to the injured sledder, something mountainous terrain doesn’t often allow, according to Honigman. He was transported via helicopter to the Vernon Regional Airport, where an ambulance was waiting to take the man to Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

A GoFundMe page has been started for Dan Reeve (left), who suffered a cracked vertebrae in a snowmobiling accident Saturday, Feb. 27, near Greystokes, close to Big White Ski Resort. (GoFundMe photo)

The injured sledder has been identified as Dan Reeve, a husband and father who works as a heavy-duty mechanic. A GoFundMe page has been started on Reeve’s behalf. He suffered a cracked vertebra in the accident and underwent surgery Sunday, Feb. 28.

Reeve will be in the hospital for about a week and off-work for approximately six months to recuperate.

The campaign has set a goal of $5,000 and was closing in on $1,300 donated by 1 p.m. Sunday.

READ MORE: Search and rescue team airlifts lost hiker from Vernon hillside

READ MORE: KFD, COSAR rescue injured Okanagan hiker

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Vernon Morning Star