Injured hiker airlifted from a trail west of Nordegg, Monday

An injured hiker was airlifted from a trail west of Nordegg on Monday afternoon after breaking his leg on the Landslide Lake trail.

A CH-146 Griffon helicopter

An injured hiker was airlifted from a trail west of Nordegg on Monday afternoon after breaking his leg on the Landslide Lake trail.

Rescuers had to hike in two km with a stretcher to retrieve the injured man, who was then transported to Rocky Mountain House via a military helicopter that just happened to be in the area.

The drama started on Monday afternoon when a distressed hiker came into the Cline River Heliport on Hwy 11 west of Nordegg, said Andrew Crane, a pilot with Rockies Heli Tour at the heliport.

“The hiker said he had a medical emergency and his friend had broken his leg on the hike down from Landslide Lake,” said Crane.

By luck, there were military helicopters in the area. The Edmonton-based 408 tactical helicopter squadron was conducting an exercise in the area, which included a CH-146 Griffon helicopter.

“I contacted them on the radio (at about 3:45 p.m.) and asked if they were willing to help out and go get him,” said Crane. “They said ‘Yes’ and we gave them the latitude and longitude of where the injured guy was and they went out there.”

The injured hiker had to be carried out of the woods by stretcher about two km before he was loaded into the Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter and taken to Rocky hospital.

The helicopter landed at the trailhead just off of Hwy 11. According to a release from the air force public affairs, the helicopter landed in challenging terrain and the first officer and flight engineer helped carry the stretcher through the rugged terrain to the waiting helicopter.

The hiker was then airlifted to Rocky Mountain House Health Centre, where hospital staff were awaiting having been alerted to the helicopter’s arrival. When the RCAF left, the hiker was conscious and under hospital care.

“The aircraft commander acted decisively and took appropriate action to preserve life in this situation. We’re certainly glad we were able to assist,” said Lt.-Col. Red MacDonnell, 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron commanding officer.

“While we are not primarily a search and rescue squadron, this incident shows the flexibility of air power and that all RCAF aircraft can add to the search and rescue role to assist Canadians in need.”

Crane said this was the worst injury he has seen in the region this year. In the past, he has gone out to help hikers, including one who sprained an ankle and couldn’t hike back down and another who broke a tailbone.

“If they fall down and get injured on a really long back country hike, then they can’t really hike back out,” said Crane. “We’ll go and help them out and at least get them to the road and they can decide what they want to do from there.”

The helicopter squadron was conducting a landing zone reconnaissance flight in support of the third battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Basic Mountain Operations course.

Just Posted

Westerner Parade draws crowds

Red Deerians line downtown streets to enjoy annual Westerner Days kick-off

Trudeau poised to shuffle, retool cabinet with focus on Liberals’ team for 2019

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau will shuffle his front benches Wednesday to install… Continue reading

Aecon Group joint venture wins Enbridge Line 3 replacement contract

TORONTO — Aecon Group Inc. says its joint venture with Robert B.… Continue reading

Conservative party pulls attack ad of black man walking over Trudeau tweet

OTTAWA — The Conservative party pulled an attack ad from its Twitter… Continue reading

Groundbreaking ceremony held for new international bridge

DETROIT — U.S. and Canadian officials touted the friendship between the two… Continue reading

Oilers sign first-round pick Evan Bouchard to entry-level contract

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Evan Bouchard to a… Continue reading

Lab-grown meat could be in restaurants in 3 years

BERLIN — A Dutch company that presented the world’s first lab-grown beef… Continue reading

Duchess of Sussex wears dress by Calgary’s Nonie to Mandela exhibition

CALGARY — A fondness for Canadian fashion apparently hasn’t waned for Meghan,… Continue reading

Destiny’s Child singer Williams seeks mental health help

LOS ANGELES — Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams says she’s seeking help… Continue reading

A Comic-Con without Marvel, HBO gives others a chance to pop

Over 130,000 pop culture devotees are descending on San Diego’s Gaslamp District… Continue reading

Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game 8-6 in 10 innings

American League 8 National League 6 (1o innings) WASHINGTON — A record… Continue reading

Photos: Red Deer barn dance entertains children, adults Tuesday

Hundreds of Central Albertans started their Westerner Days celebrations early with an… Continue reading

Man suffers critical injuries, Red Deer police arrest woman in pedestrian crash

A man is in hospital with critical injuries and Mounties have arrested… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month