Trail man dies after incident above hospital Wednesday
The BC Coroner’s Service is investigating the death of a Trail man after a climbing incident above the Trail Regional Hospital yesterday afternoon.
“I can confirm we are in the early stages of our investigation involving a male in his 30s from Trail,” said Communications Manager Andy Watson in a phone interview Thursday. “Due to the privacy of the deceased, we will not be releasing or confirming identity (per the Coroners Act and provincial privacy legislation).”
South Columbia Search and Rescue president and manager Mike Hudson said the scene was also attended by SAR teams from Rossland, Castlegar and Grand Forks.
“High angle slope teams were used as well as HETS (Helicopter extraction team) to rescue our climber,” he said. “A geo tech specialist was also brought on site to assess the conditions for the rock face our members and subject were on to maintain site safety for our members while completing the rescue.”
The patient did not survive the incident.
Trail RCMP Acting Sgt. Devon Reid said police also attended the scene, but as the investigation has been taken over by the Coroner’s office, RCMP won’t be providing any more information at this time.
South Columbia Search and Rescue issued the following press release at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday:
South Columbia Search and Rescue was called in to Mutually assist Rossland Search and Rescue with a fallen climber in Trail yesterday at approx 10:15am. Castlegar and Grand Forks Sar were also on scene to assist with rescue efforts.
A call had been reported of a person climbing on the rock bluffs behind Trail Regional Hospital just above the Heli pad area and that they had fallen. Search and Rescue crews responded to the scene and began rescue operations. Upon arrival to the location of our subject and medical assesment, our subject was found to be deceased. Upon further safety assessment of the area it was determined that some expertise was needed with Geo Technical background to asses the rock face in our location before we could continue with rescue efforts.
There appeared to be lots of rock debris and broken trees in the area and it was determined that the area needed to be made safe before rescuers could gain back access to the area safely. It appears that our climber was climbing up the rock face and the piece of face the climber grabbed broke free and our subject fell approx 50 meters.
Our rope safety technicians went in with the geo technical adviser and began making the area safe for continued operations. Several large boulders ( large in size like a pick up truck box) and several other sizes where pushed away from the rock face and all other overhead debris was removed for safety. During this process access to the Trail Regional Hospital had to be temporarily closed to allow for falling debris to be safely removed.
HETS rescue (Helicopter External Transport System) was called in to help assist in efforts to extract our subject from the area. Once the area was made safe and rescuers could re-enter, Rope members set up a High Angle Rescue system to assist with the HETS operation and attendants to safely get our subject out.
Our subject was then airlifted to the Crow High school area and then released to waiting paramedics. Approx 18 – 20 members responded to this call and with various technical backgrounds. Our rescue operations were completed about 5:30 p.m.
We would like to thank all the responders that attended this call and for all their help with rescue efforts.