Beautiful weather on the Canada Day weekend got people outdoors – and sometimes into trouble in the Maple Ridge area.
Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue had to respond to four calls at once on Sunday afternoon.
First, volunteer rescuers had to get up to Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park at about 3:30 p.m., to look for two teens who were overdue from a canoeing trip. But just as search and rescue arrived, the teens paddled into shore.
Two hours later, two people went over the lower falls in Gold Creek and suffered significant injuries. They were able to get to shore, but search and rescue, Maple Ridge fire and rescue and B.C. Ambulance Service responded and treated the pair before they were sent off in ambulances.
While search team members were helping there, they got a call about two hikers who got separated on the Spirea Trail, also in Golden Ears park. As searchers started looking for the pair, they got a call about an injured hiker on West Canyon Trail. The latter who was later found near Alder Flats.
Search and rescue called in a helicopter to take a team up to Alder Flats, but by that time a ground crew on Canyon Trail had found the injured hiker.
However, darkness was falling, so the rescuers at Alder Flats had to hike out in the dark, reaching their starting point by 1:30 a.m., on Canada Day.
People online appreciated the work.
“That’s one heck of a busy SAR day. Well done, RM SAR,” said one.
Another said the organization may need more money, but Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue replied money wasn’t the issue.
“The big issue we face (as do other great teams) is volunteer exhaustion and burnout. Many of the calls we respond to are preventable.”