Parks Canada staff responded with a rigid hull inflatable boat in an attempt to rescue a hiker on the West Coast Trail, but the rugged nature of the west coast forced them to call in air support this week.
That support came from 19 Wing Comox, which dispatched a Cormorant helicopter immediately upon getting the news on Saturday.
“There was low fog in the area, so we got below it and spotted the shoreline,” said Captain Francois Fasquelle, first officer. “As we got close, the crew of a Parks Canada rigid-hull inflatable boat directed our approach through the clouds and we were soon able to see flashlights on shore.”
As the pilots and flight engineer brought the helicopter into a hover over a rock shelf, Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs) were hoisted down to meet with Parks Canada first responders.
“They had already got her ready to travel, so she was put into a rescue basket and hoisted about 40 feet into the Cormorant,” said Master Corporal Samuel Chenelle-Pepin, SAR Tech.
Once safely on board, the crew flew the hiker to hospital in Victoria where she was transferred in stable condition.
• It was just over two years ago that HMCS Corner Brook slammed into the sea floor off the coast of British Columbia, but only now is the public being told just how extensive the damage was.
The accident was originally described by the navy as akin to a fender-bender, but documents just released show a two-metre gash in the bow from the 11 kph collision with the seabed wasn’t the only problem. As well, damage to the forward ballast tank could extend to the pressure hull — which means the incident could have claimed the lives of the entire crew.
• Named after an Italian hero from history, the cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi met a sorry end on this date in 1915.
Launched in 1899, Giuseppe Garibaldi was the lead ship of the Giuseppe Garibaldi-class of Italian cruisers and saw action during the Italo-Turkish War (1911-1912). Together with sister ship Francesco Ferruccio, she was able to sink the turkish gunboat Avnilah during the Battle of Beirut.
However, just a few short years later the cruiser joined a fleet of battleships attacking the Austro-Hungarian Navy and was hit by a torpedo fired by U-4, a Turkish submarine.
The ship took on water quickly and sank in just three minutes, taking with her 53 crew members.
Once the pride of Italy, Giuseppe Garibaldi lies in 122 metres of water off Dubrovnik.