Art Timm waits to load onto a helicopter during an Arrowsmith Search and Rescue practice on Saturday, March 10. — Courtesy Arrowsmith SAR

Arrowsmith search and rescue members take on crevasse, heli training

New members take part in some weekend training, but Arrowsmith SAR always looking for more

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue has been practicing what to do when someone’s caught between a rock and… well, more rock.

That, and helicopter safety.

The SAR group spent Saturday, March 10, loading and unloading from a helicopter at up to 1,100 metres in the Mt. Arrowsmith area, and Sunday practicing rope rescues down a narrow rock crevasse on Little Mountain.

SunWest Helicopters took 13 Arrowsmith SAR members in five teams to three separate locations on March 10, said Arrowsmith SAR spokesperson Barry Blair.

“We try to practice that once a year,” said Blair. “I would say once or twice a year, there are some helicopter operations (that Arrowsmith SAR participates in),” he said.

The helicopter training entailed practicing how to safely load and unload from the vehicle with the blades still spinning, and testing an InReach GPS system, which can track an individual’s position and provide two-way testing anywhere in the world via satellite, Blair said.

SunWest Helicopters owner and pilot Brian Sallows, who took the SAR members on the training exercise, warns that the noise and look of the motors can be mesmerizing, but that passengers loading and unloading should focus on the pilot and do only one thing at a time, said Blair.

And stay close to the ground.

The March 11 training saw approximately 20 people, including new Arrowsmith SAR members and six members of Comox Valley SAR, practise rescuing a “patient” who had fallen 20 metres down a narrow rock crevice, “making the 60-kg stretcher raise quite difficult,” Blair said in an email.

“Two separate rope systems had to be set up and everyone had a part to play from the haul teams to the two people on the edge keeping an eye on the stretcher and attendant as they were pulled up.”

Blair noted that Arrowsmith SAR is always looking for new members, adding that those interested can get in contact via the group’s website:

Though the group is welcoming, Blair noted the selection process is strenuous.

Send story tips to:

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach east village plans take shape

Staff moving forward with east village concept

Three-for-one at Parksville studio for tour

Local artists participating in Central Island Studio Tour May 26-27

Pole dancers bring disco theme for second Errington hall event

Island Talent Pole Fitness show to include national champs on June 2

Annual pickleball tournament fills up quickly

Two-day event to take place indoors at Oceanside Place May 24-25

Lighthouse Country bus tour to focus on area’s tourism destinations

Business assocation wants more tourists to come to the area

VIDEO: Sharks’ jaws too sharp for Whalers

First junior B lacrosse team delights local fans with 13-3 win

9 temperature records broken across B.C. as warm weather continues

Clearwater, Golden, Williams Lake, Malahat a few of the cities that broke records Thursday

COLUMN: Stanley Cup final prediction

Upstart Vegas Golden Knights clash with Washington Capitals

Vancouver Island wildfire burning near Campbell River coal mine

The fire is suspected to be human caused at this time

Big brew tanks headed for Chilliwack wrapped to look like beer cans

Snap a #beertanks selfie if you see massive tanks en route to Chilliwack

TransLink to ‘pause’ Morgan Freeman PSAs after sexual harassment allegations

Eight women told CNN they were sexually harassed by the Hollywood actor

UPDATE: Two-year-old found unresponsive in pool passes away

Mission RCMP located toddler after she went missing from a local daycare

Toronto opening 800 emergency spaces to deal with influx of refugee claimants

Beginning Thursday, Toronto will temporarily house refugee claimants and new arrivals in 400 beds in the city’s east end.

Breaking: Trump cancels summit with North Korea

Trump cancels June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim, citing ‘tremendous anger and open hostility’ in recent statement

Most Read