Pleasant Bay — Multi-agency search and rescue operation ends successfully

Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

A multi-agency agency search and rescue operation, lead by the Cheticamp RCMP, after two hikers suffered injuries in a remote trail on May 21 ended successfully.

On May 21, at approximately 5:45 p.m., Cheticamp RCMP received a report of two injured hikers on the Pollet’s Cove trail near Pleasant Bay. RCMP officers, Pleasant Bay Volunteer Fire Department and EHS responded to the scene and began formulating a plan to enter the trail in an attempt to locate the hikers. Due to the difficult terrain, remote area and lack of cellular phone and radio coverage, an RCMP officer and EHS paramedic entered the trail together in attempt to locate the hikers. A command post was setup at the base of the trail head and members of the Cheticamp Ground Search and Rescue, Strait Regional Ground Search and Rescue and Cape Breton Ground Search and Rescue teams began mobilizing to the area.

At approximately 9 p.m., the RCMP officer and EHS paramedic located the injured hikers on the trail. They were treated at the scene and a CH-149 Cormorant belonging to the Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (JRCC) landed in a field nearby. The hikers, RCMP officer and EHS paramedic were airlifted from the area and transported to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney. The RCMP officer and EHS paramedic were returned to their respective areas by an EHS supervisor upon their arrival at the hospital as they were uninjured.

The RCMP would like to thank the Pleasant Bay Volunteer Fire Department, EHS, Parks Canada, the Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (JRCC), Cheticamp Ground Search and Rescue, Strait Regional Ground Search and Rescue and Cape Breton Ground Search and Rescue teams, for their assistance which lead to a successful conclusion to this search and rescue operation.

The RCMP would like to remind the public to plan ahead before heading out for a hike. Make a list of things that you may need, including: rain gear, extra warm clothing, food, water, first aid kit, pocket knife, matches in a waterproof container, sunscreen, whistle, flashlight and insect repellent are recommended.

· Find out about the trail you plan to hike and make sure that the trail is not beyond your abilities.

· Watch the weather. It can change frequently so it’s important to know what to expect and to dress accordingly.

· Don’t go alone. Consider going with a friend or a group of people.

· Tell people where you’re going and when you plan to be back. This can help first responders to locate you in the event of an emergency.

· Bring your fully charged cellphone. This will allow you to call someone if you become lost. Cellphones have become an important tool for first responders to help locate lost hikers.

· Find out if there is cellular service in the area you are planning to hike, especially if the hike is in a remote area. The area surrounding the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, including Pleasant Bay is known to have poor cellular service and hikers should bring a Satellite Communication Device.

· If you do get lost, stay calm and keep warm. If you have to stay overnight, build a campfire for warmth, light, and safety. This can also assist first responders as the smoke of a campfire can be spotted by an aircraft.

File #: 2022-665549