A photo taken from a rescue helicopter on its way to Mount Elizabeth on Oct. 6.

A photo taken from a rescue helicopter on its way to Mount Elizabeth on Oct. 6.

Rescuers called away from film festival for rescue on Mount Elizabeth

A hiker was reported injured on Mount Elizabeth in the evening of Oct. 6.

(The editor initially, erroneously, typed out 5-year-old instead of 50-year-old. It was a mis-type and we apologize for the error.)

Kitimat Search and Rescue (SAR) members were called away from the organization’s largest annual fundraiser to do what it is they do best.

On Oct. 6, the B.C. Ambulance Service called in SAR for a reported distressed 50-year-old male hiker on Mount Elizabeth.

Using a helicopter, two SAR members reached the hiker and determined that additional support would be needed to stabilize and transport the patient to the helicopter, which couldn’t land precisely where he was.

Two Kitimat paramedics were called in from the Kitimat Fire Department but by the time the patient was moved to the helicopter it was too dark to take off.

As the hiker’s need for medical attention grew, SAR called in help in the form of a Cormorant helicopter from the Canadian Air Force 442 Squadron in Comox, B.C., to perform a long-line night extraction.

Four more local SAR members were called in around 10 p.m. They had to hike the Mount Elizabeth recreational trail — in the dark — to bring medical supplies to the patient.

By 4 a.m. the next morning, the Cormorant helicopter had successfully pulled out the hiker, from an area just about “The Lookout” on the mountain.

Everything was concluded by 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 7, when everyone, including responders, the hiker and the hiker’s companion, were air lifted off the mountain.

All of this took rescuers away from the Banff Mountain Film Festival at Mount Elizabeth Theatre. That is SAR’s largest annual fundraiser. The money raised at the festival goes towards life saving equipment, much of which was certainly used for this weekend rescue.

SAR expressed their gratitude to the fire department, Quantum Helicopters and Squadron 442 from Comox for all contributing to a successful rescue.

Of course thanks also went to the members who had to duck out of the theatre a little early.

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