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Alberni Valley Rescue Squad helps stranded skiers off mountainside

Trio called for help after trying to find safe descent on Vancouver Island mountain
A member of Alberni Valley Rescue Squad traverses the snowy slopes of 5040 Peak during a rescue of three stranded skiers, March 8, 2023. (AVRS INSTAGRAM PHOTO)

Three skiers were rescued from 5040 Peak on March 8, 2023 after becoming stranded during their descent.

Members of Alberni Valley Rescue Squad (AVRS) were tasked by RCMP around 4 p.m. to help rescue the skiers, who had activated an SOS signal after becoming stuck.

“With increasing exhaustion from attempts to find a safer route, approaching darkness and poor weather, a decision was made to activate emergency services,” an AVRS spokesperson said. The SOS call was routed through the International Emergency Response Coordinator Centre.

Volunteers with AVRS were deployed via helicopter and ground, and an initial response team was able to land near the skiers just as darkness and heavy snow began to fall. Once a medical member of AVRS determined the skiers were uninjured they were escorted along safe passage to another team with a utility terrain vehicle, who then returned the subjects to the vehicle.

“The subjects made the right decision to call for help while there was enough daylight and a clear weather window for a faster response via helicopter,” the spokesperson said.

“Remember, there is never a charge for search and rescue services in B.C. Call early if you think you might need help.”

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