At low tide, the rocks around Tow Hill are inviting to explore, but it’s easy to slip and fall. (Haida Gwaii Observer/File photo)

At low tide, the rocks around Tow Hill are inviting to explore, but it’s easy to slip and fall. (Haida Gwaii Observer/File photo)

Archipelago SAR rescues injured man near Tow Hill

A man suffered head and spinal injuries after he slipped and fell about two metres onto rock near Tow Hill on Tuesday, Aug. 7.

The 55-year-old man was scrambling over some shoreline rocks between the blowhole and Agate Beach when he slipped, and his fall was awkward.

Disorientated but with bystanders and family alongside him, the man was rescued by volunteers with Archipelago Search and Rescue, who worked together with a park ranger from Naikoon Provincial Park.

Using a basket-style stretcher equipped with an off-road wheel, the SAR team was able to carefully deliver the injured man to a waiting ambulance at the Agate Beach campground. From there, he was taken to the Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital.

Although the stretcher was effective — its off-road wheel looks something like a big mountain-bike tire — the SAR crew had to lift it through a section of soft pea gravel on the beach, which also prevented trucks from driving down to meet them.

Based in Masset, Archipelago SAR volunteers provide ground search-and-rescue across Haida Gwaii outside of Gwaii Haanas.

To get help from Archipelago SAR, phone the RCMP in Queen Charlotte (250-559-4421) or Masset (250-626-3991). For Masset Marine Rescue, phone the 24-hour, toll-free line of the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria: 1-800-567-5111.