Cranbrook and Fernie Search and Rescue team up for the save

Buried by avalanche, saved

Cranbrook and Fernie Search and Rescue joined forces to save a skier who got caught in an avalanche near Summer Lake B.C.

The incident happened on Wednesday, February 24. Cranbrook SAR received a report that one person had been buried by an avalanche but had been dug out by companions.

It was determined that a helicopter wasn't going to be able to get close enough to the patient to lift them to safety so team members were dropped off nearby and then skied to the subject.

A crew of three made up of one Cranbrook SAR Avalanche Technician, level 2, and two avalanche rescue team members carried medical equipment to the injured individual.

The crew went to work preparing the patient for transport and cutting down some trees so the helicopter could land next to the patient.

According to the Cranbrook Search and Rescue Facebook, "the crew performed a technical hot entry with daylight fading fast." The patient was then transported to Cranbrook Airport and handed off to a BC Emergency Health Services fixed-wing Critical Care Transport team.

Avalanche Canada issued a special warning for the north and south Rockies, which includes the East Kootenay region from Kimberley in the east over to Fernie and the Alberta border. The warning also includes the Flathead and Lizard Range as well as the South Rockies.

The warning is expected to remain in effect through the weekend. Avalanche Canada will reassess conditions on Monday.

Avalanche Canada indicates the best chance of survival in an avalanche is companion rescue, members of your own group. You are advised to carry Please an avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe when you travel into the backcountry.

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