Corporal Jeff Witz
Columbia Valley RCMP
During the past week, May 8 to 14, the Columbia Valley RCMP responded to 62 calls for service. The following is a summary of some of the files that our officers worked on.
On May 14, police responded to a downed paraglider near Lake Windermere. On scene, members were told there was a malfunction which made the paraglider descend at a high rate of speed, colliding with the embankment next to the railway tracks. (A post on the Pioneer website stated the paraglider was attached and towing upward and became unattached due to a mechanical issue, resulting in a wing malfunction).
Invermere Fire Rescue reported the incident occurred in the 1100 block of Westside Road where the paraglider needed to be “extricated.” Rescue crews assisted BC Ambulance with carrying the patient to where a Search and Rescue helicopter was awaiting to transport to hospital.
On May 13, RCMP received a phone call from a stranded hiker in the Panorama area. The hiker was alone, had cell reception and had already been hiking for six hours and was unsure of his location. Search and rescue were dispatched and located the hiker who was brought back to safety.
The RCMP and Search and Rescue are reminding people heading into the backcountry this spring/summer to be prepared. Have a plan, notify people of those plans, have extra food and water along with extra clothing.
Depending on conditions, Search and Rescue might not be able to respond immediately and there’s been circumstances in the past where people in need of rescuing have had to spend the night in the backcountry. Also, please be mindful that most areas do not have cell reception.