Busy Week for NSR Volunteers

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On Wednesday February 15th, NSR was tasked by the North Vancouver RCMP to search for despondent male in the Lynn Canyon, Lynn Headwaters and Grouse area. For due diligence purposes, NSR members were accompanied by members from the RCMP. Amongst the RCMP members assisting were 4 members of the Emergency Response Team (ERT), who accompanied skilled NSR members on their search assignments. 2 Metro Vancouver parks rangers were also utilized in the search teams. Teams were inserted via helicopter to search the Hanes Valley, Lynn Lake, Norvan Falls area, and the trail up to Coliseum Mountain. Concurrently, members of the NSR kayak rescue team were inserted into Lynn Canyon to search the treacherous waterway from the suspension bridge to the ocean.

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After completing search assignments, the various field teams converged back to the Norvan Falls heli-pad for extraction. It was at this time that we received a distress call for two out-of-bounds snowboarders on Mount Seymour and the kayak team located a jacket and identification near the river, belonging to the subject. Having two concurrent calls, command was quickly split and resources were redeployed for the two calls. A second helicopter was brought in to focus the search in the canyon, while the primary helicopter was redirected to attempt a rescue of the two snowboarders. Both helicopters had the doors removed to facilitate searching.

After an initial attempt to extract subjects on Seymour via helicopter was thwarted by weather, a NSR ski team was deployed from the top down. In the meantime, the helicopter stayed on station waiting for the weather to clear. The two subjects having stumbled upon a NSR rescue cache, were directed by command (with a FRS radio in the cache) to a clearing, where they were to stay and await either a helicopter or land based rescue. With limited day light remaining, a hole in the weather allowed the helicopter to fly in with two rescuers on board, who extracted the two boarders back to the command staging area. The ski team was also picked up nearby and flown back to the in-bounds area of Seymour.

While the Seymour rescue was being conducted, the second helicopter was flying low and slow above Lynn Canyon trying to spot any sign of the despondent subject. After a detailed air search, a body was spotted in the river in the vicinity of Twin Falls. At this point in time, daylight was fast disappearing and both helicopters had to return to base. The SAR manager and RCMP incident commander made the decision to stand the call down for the evening.

The next morning, February 16th, NSR members and the RCMP dive team went back to the scene identified by NSR helicopter personnel. NSR members assisted the RCMP and BC Coroners Service in the unfortunate task of recovering the body from the river. A sad outcome.

Additionally, this last weekend, NSR members were also requested by the BC Ambulance Service to respond to a call for an injured 10 year old in the Hollyburn area of Cypress Mountain. Members responded in conjunction with staff from Cypress Nordic Ski Patrol and the child was successfully delivered to BCAS paramedics a short time later.

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