Two hikers were injured on a remote trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and were rescued during a multi-agency operation last weekend.
In a statement, RCMP said officers in Cheticamp received a report of two injured hikers on the Pollett’s Cove trail near Pleasant Bay around 5:45 p.m. on May 21.
“RCMP officers, Pleasant Bay Volunteer Fire Department and EHS responded to the scene and began formulating a plan to enter the trail to locate the hikers,” the statement read.
“Due to the difficult terrain, remote area, and lack of cell phone and radio coverage, an RCMP officer and an EHS paramedic entered the trail together in an attempt to locate the hikers.”
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Emergency responders established a command post at the base of the trailhead and search and rescue teams from Chéticamp, Cape Breton and the Straits area began mobilizing to the area.
At approximately 9:00 p.m., the RCMP officer and paramedic found the injured hikers on the trail. They were treated at the scene and a CH-149 Cormorant belonging to the Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Center landed in a nearby field.
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The hikers were then airlifted to Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney.
“The RCMP would like to thank the Pleasant Bay Volunteer Fire Department, EHS, Parks Canada, the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC), ground search and rescue teams from Chéticamp, search teams Straits Area Ground Search and Rescue Teams and Cape Breton Ground Search and Rescue Teams. , for their assistance in bringing this search and rescue operation to a successful conclusion,” the statement read.
Police advised people to plan ahead before hiking.
“Make a list of things you might need including: rain gear, extra warm clothes, food, water, first aid kit, pocket knife, matches in a waterproof container, sunscreen, whistle, flashlight and insect repellent are recommended,” he said.
Here are some other safety tips:
- Find out about the trail you plan to hike and make sure the trail is not beyond your abilities.
- Watch the weather. It can change frequently, so it’s important to know what to expect and dress accordingly.
- Don’t go alone. Consider going with a friend or a group of people.
- Tell people where you are going and when you expect to return. This can help first responders locate you in an emergency.
- Bring a fully charged cell phone. This will allow you to call someone if you get lost. Cell phones have become an important tool for first responders to help locate lost hikers.
- Find out if there is cell service in the area where you plan to hike, especially if the hike is in a remote area. The area surrounding Cape Breton Highlands National Park, including Pleasant Bay, is known to have poor cell service and hikers should bring a satellite communication device.
- If you get lost, stay calm and stay warm. If you must spend the night, build a campfire for warmth, light, and safety. It can also help first responders, as smoke from a campfire can be spotted by an airplane.
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