Fernie Search and Rescue

Injured sledders safely rescued

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The Free Press
January 2010

Two snowmobilers had to be rescued by search and rescuers in backcountry accidents last weekend.

A snowmobiler from Alberta dislocated his knee after falling from his sled in the Flathead near Corbin on Saturday morning. His friend rode to the phone at Coal Mountain and called 911 while other people in his party lit a fire and waited with him.

Sparwood, Elkford and Fernie Search and Rescue teams responded to the call at 2 p.m., with Sparwood and Elkford members preparing for a ground rescue while Fernie team members and an avalanche technician flew over the site to evaluate its safety.

Luckily the helicopter was able to land safely near the rider and he was flown to hospital.

"One of his party had a SPOT GPS device but had forgotten it in his truck," said Chris Thomas of Fernie Search and Rescue. "His friend rode back and called for help, but it meant seven hours of excruciating pain for him from the time of the accident until we could get him to hospital."

Ed Ehrler of Sparwood Search and Rescue added: "It was as good a call as we can get - everything went right and we were able to get him out quickly."

On Sunday at 2 p.m. Fernie Search and Rescue was called again after a Sparwood snowmobiler in his forties lost control of his sled and hit a tree in the Rolling Hills area between Coal Creek and Morrissey.  The man broke several ribs and had to be hauled up a slope and flown to hospital by helicopter.

This web site has been created by and is provided by VolunteerRescue of SKRPC Holdings Inc., Fernie, BC, Canada.