A helicopter flew over Tofino on Aug. 1 to rescue a tourist who was trapped in a ravine.
The tourist was exploring a wooded area near the Tonquin Trail when she fell off a log while trying to cross the ravine, which was roughly three metres wide and six metres deep, according to Sgt. Blaine Mumford of the Tofino RCMP.
“She slipped off this log and then fell down the ravine (and) bounced off the walls once or twice on the way down,” Mumford said adding the ravine was full of logs and rocks. “She’s lucky she wasn’t injured a lot more seriously.”
Local police joined the Tofino Volunteer Fire Brigade and West Coast Search and Rescue personnel at the scene but a helicopter was ultimately called in from Comox to pull the woman free, according to Mumford.
“It had to air-lift her out of the ravine and it took her to Comox where she was checked out,” he said adding the woman suffered injuries to her torso but escaped the incident “relatively unharmed.”
He suggested the wilderness the woman was exploring is “treacherous” and alcohol likely contributed to her fall.
“There are some steep cliffs and some steep ravines and people do sometimes go in there to party,” he said.
“The time of night, alcohol involvement, and not being familiar with the area very much, all contributed to this accident happening.”
He urges locals and visitors to explore the Coast cautiously and avoid putting added pressure on search and rescue resources.
“In the summertime, everyone is busier than normal and if people take unnecessary risks, or they’re intoxicated and in the bush, in an area they’re not really familiar with…they should probably understand that, if they bring all those search and rescue resources to assist them, we will come but you’re taking that away from potentially other situations that may need to be dealt with,” he said.
“Just think twice before you take unnecessary risks…You’re potentially going to put a huge strain on search and rescue resources through your negligence.”