NEWS

Night helicopter rescue plucks hunter off remote inlet

06/01/2013 09:25 EDT | Updated 08/01/2013 05:12 EDT
The crew of a Royal Canadian Air Force Cormorant helicopter made a daring rescue in a snowstorm Friday night on northern Vancouver Island.

A hunting party at a remote inlet on the Brooks Peninsula made a radio distress call when one of their members fell ill.

Flying through snow-showers and with limited visibility, the Cormorant crew arrived on-scene shortly after midnight.

RCAF Capt. Trevor Reid, of 19 Wing Comox, said visibility was poor, but added that members of the hunting party played a key role in getting their companion to safety.

"The hunters were very helpful in that they had set up a signal flare, which the pilots were able to pick out with their night-vision goggles," he said.

The pilots found a clearing along an ATV trail, which was used for hoisting the hunter 80 feet up into the helicopter.

He was then flown to Port Hardy and transferred to a waiting BC Ambulance for transport to hospital. His condition is unknown at this time.

Though provinces, territories, and municipalities are generally responsible for inland search and rescue outside of national parks, the Canadian Armed Forces may provide assistance.

In this case, the initial distress call was made to the Canadian Coast Guard who then enlisted the assistance of the military crew.

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