Members of the Arrowsmith Search and Rescue hoist a man who fell down a deep and very tight crevasse near the edge of Little Mountain in Errington on Oct. 8. (Ken Neden photo)

Search and rescue crews extricate man who fell down deep crevasse on Vancouver Island

Difficult terrain made rescue tricky for Arrowsmith SAR team

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue rescued a man who fell down a deep crevasse near the edge of Little Mountain in Errington on Thursday morning, Oct. 8.

Search manager and rope team leader Ken Neden said they were called by the Oceanside RCMP at approximately 10 a.m. to help extricate a man who plunged into the crevasse on Wednesday night and was trapped there overnight. The man was discovered Thursday morning by some people in the area who heard his cry for help.

Neden said the rescue was technically challenging as the crevasse was about 65 feet deep and just 18 inches wide.

After setting up a rope system, Neden said they were able to send a first aid crew to help stabilize the man, who suffered broken feet and sore knees.

READ MORE: Arrowsmith Search and Rescue seeks public assistance paying for new $1.2M hall project

“It wasn’t easy to reach him because the crevasse was very, very tight,” said Neden. “We were able to sent to two people down there but we couldn’t lay the stretcher as there was no room. We were able to get the man onto the stretcher vertically and strapped him real tight. We hoisted him up head-first.”

The man was eventually taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.

Neden said the man went up the Little Mountain Road on a motorcycle and after parking it went for a walk. Neden believes he might have slipped and fell into the crevasse.

“He was still wearing his helmet which really helped him from suffering a really serious injury,” said Neden. “He could have passed out and nobody would have known he was there.”

The entire operation took approximately two hours to complete. Neden said having had some training in the crevasse in the past was significantly helpful with the rescue.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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