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Man falls from Enderby, B.C. cliffside, spends night awaiting helicopter rescue

A complicated rescue of a man seriously injured while climbing the Enderby, B.C., cliffs required assistance from search and rescue crews from two Okanagan cities.

At 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Vernon Search and Rescue was called to assist an injured hiker who had fallen down a slope in an area off of the Enderby Cliffs trail.

An attempt to bring in a helicopter was made; however, due to fading daylight, search and rescue officials said they couldn’t make it happen.

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“When we reached the trailhead parking lot a plan was created to access and assess the subject. Team medics, members of our bike team, and rope team members ascended the trail with medical equipment and rope gear,” searchers said in a press release.

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“A large ground team left on foot with additional rope and medical gear to hike a trail with significant elevation gain. Teams left the trail at roughly the four kilometre mark and bushwhacked for approximately 500 metres.”

Thick vegetation, as well as difficult and rugged terrain, stymied their ascent and it was 10 p.m. before the team made it to the cliff face.

“At the edge of the cliff, a rope system was rigged to allow our medical team to access the subject,” search and rescue said.

“He had been struck by a large boulder from above and upon initial assessment, it was determined he had serious leg fractures in two places — inclusive of an open compound fracture of the femur in the upper third of the extremity.”

They realized then that a helicopter rescue the next morning was the only option.

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Specialized Penticton and  District Search and Rescue members arrived on scene at 6:30 a.m. and were able to complete the rescue.

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The operation was completed by 8:30 a.m. Thursday, and the man was taken to hospital to recover from his injuries.


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