It was a relatively quiet summer but the long weekend proved to be madness for the brave hearts of the North Shore Rescue as they raced from one place to another to bring hikers back to safety.
Mike Danks, the team leader of North Shore Rescue, said the ‘madness’ started on September 1, Sunday, after a rather quiet summer. The first call came at 5 pm from a man who was lost hiking on Mt Seymour with his two dogs. Team members were quickly able to access and assist him and his two exhausted dogs.
Merely an hour later, North Shore Rescue crews were called to assist the police in a situation that Danks says he can’t elaborate on. That situation wasn’t over until the next morning at 1 am.
“We were there assisting the police for 18 hours and there were six members involved with this situation,” Danks said.
A few hours later on Monday, September 2, they were assisting West Vancouver police in locating two men from Mexico who were hiking the Howe Sound Crest Trail. After initial difficulty tracking them down, North Shore Rescue was able to locate them by sending a message on their phone to get their coordinates.
Danks said two hikers were assisted out, one with severe dehydration. “One of them had severe abdominal pain and he wasn’t able to walk. It took a crew of five members to find them and the team gave the severally dehydrated man electrolytes after which he was able to walk back,” he said.
Later in the afternoon, North Shore Rescue responded to a call about a teenager who had injured his ankle while hiking with three friends near Crown Mountain. A team member hiking close by was quick to respond and reached the group and helped getting the injured teenager back to a helicopter pad.
The last call on the long weekend came from a mother and daughter, who were hiking at the Quarry Rock and were lost in the dark. They didn’t have any light with them and had to call rescue for help.
It was the fifth rescue call in 24 hours.
Even though the summer was slow, Danks says call volumes have steadily gone up over the years with more visitors from the city exploring North Shore hikes. “In my experience, if we have good weather, there are going to be more people on the trails, and that means we are going to get calls,” he said.