Search and Rescue deals with two incidents on Mt. Benson at the same time


2017-09-28 15:12 PDT

File # 2017-32044

Search and Rescue deals with two incidents on Mt. Benson at the same time.

First Incident

On September 23, 2017 around 11:00 a.m. Nanaimo Search and Rescue responded to a report of a hiker on Mt. Benson who was in medical distress. A 69 year old man was hiking the Witchcraft Lake Regional Trail with friends when he collapsed. CPR was started immediately and a number of passing hikers stopped to assist with first aid. 911 was called and a numbered trail marker was provided to identify the location.

The BC Ambulance Service, Nanaimo Search and Rescue and the RCMP responded to the incident. This portion of the trail was steep and heavily treed which prevented the use of a helicopter. Search and Rescue crews had to hike in on foot. Responding crews were aided by a number of hikers at the trailhead who assisted with carrying medical equipment and a stretcher up the trail.

Unfortunately the man did not survive. The investigation is now in the hands of the BC Coroner Service. Foul play is not suspected.

Second Incident

While Search and Rescue was dealing with the above incident a second group called for assistance. Around 1:45 p.m. a man suffered a severe leg cramp and was unable to walk down the mountain’s steep trails on his own. A search and rescue initial response team was dispatched. The man was located not far from an old logging road and was taken down the mountain in an off-road vehicle.

Nanaimo Search and Rescue had 19 members on the mountain shortly after 11:00 a.m. until 18:00 hours dealing with the two incidents.

Mount Benson is a popular hiking location however a number of the trails are rugged and steep. Outdoor enthusiasts should be well prepared for adverse weather and the challenge of backcountry travel. The Nanaimo RCMP would like to thank Nanaimo Search and Rescue for their dedication and the hikers who assisted with these incidents, said Cst. Derek Balderston.

Released by

Cst. Derek Balderston

Media Relations
Nanaimo RCMP
303 Prideaux St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 2N3
Office: 250-754-2345
Fax: 250-753-0946


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