Dangerous Flooding and Temperatures Dropping - PLB Aids in Rescue

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Dangerous Flooding and Temperatures Dropping - PLB Aids in Rescue

Dangerous Flooding and Temperatures Dropping - PLB Aids in Rescue
Lives saved

2

Hiking

Hiking

Forest

Forest

Weather

Weather

Thunder storm

Thunder storm

Hiking

Dangerous Flooding and Temperatures Dropping - PLB Aids in Rescue

48.629754438439°N, -124.76936313115°W

Posted on November 10, 2022 by Meredith

What happened?

 This was my third time on the WCT over the past 4 years. I have hiked it through great weather and not-so-great weather, but never anything like this. 

We knew that we were expecting about 20-25mm of rain on about day 3 or 4 but what we actually got was closer to 100mm of rain.

The rain started off light at first but started to pick up after about an hour.  As we continued, the rain got heavier and heavier, and my once-dry rain jacket was completely soaked. Shortly after I could feel that water had made its way thru my gators and had soaked both of my boots. All of this was made worse by the fact that the trail was now flooding from the extreme amounts of rain. 

During the hike, I conversed with my hiking partner about what our plan should be when we get to the next camping spot. On the West Coast Trail there are Guardian Cabins throughout that may or may not have a ranger inside. We had decided that we would see if a ranger was present at that location and if they weren’t, we would use the PLB to be evacuated. 

Once we made it to the campsite we checked the cabin which was empty, so we made our way across the beach towards the water and set off the PLB. We then sat under a tarp with a blanket for about two hours while we waited for someone to come.

The Coast Guard arrived by boat to assist us off the trail. The bay was full of hazards, so the coast guards had to inflate a row boat to come to shore. They checked our vitals and deemed us both borderline hypothermic, so they gave us warm vests to wear and dry blankets to wrap around ourselves for the boat ride back to the trailhead. Once back on land they rechecked our vitals and got us set up by a warm stove that belonged to the local fishermen.

The Coast Guards did a fabulous job taking care of us and reassuring us that we made the right decision to pull ourselves off the trail and that they anticipated many more rescues due to the extreme weather.

The risk of hypothermia had become an all to frightening reality as we were both soaked through and knew that we were ill-equipped to continue on.

Words of wisdom

Always be prepared for every weather condition and triple-check your equipment!

Thank you note

I am so grateful that I made the decision to purchase my ACR PLB! The instant relief I felt when the screen on my PLB showed that my location was being pinpointed and that help was on the way!

Rescue location

West Coast Trail, Area F (Cowichan Lake South / Dangero), BC, Canada

Rescue team

Coast Guard

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