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Penticton crews rescue woman hanging from Skaha Bluffs in overnight task

Fifteen PENSAR members were deployed to locate the 55-year-old injured climber
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n members from Penticton & District Search & Rescue (PENSAR) were deployed Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m., to assist in the rescue of a fallen climber at Skaha Bluffs. (Photo- PENSAR)

A “long and challenging” rescue task at Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park on June 14, ended with saving an injured climber who had suffered a fall the day before.

Fifteen members from Penticton & District Search & Rescue (PENSAR) were deployed Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., to assist in the rescue of a woman who had gone climbing earlier in the day but hadn’t returned in seven hours.

RCMP located her truck in the Skaha Bluffs parking lot earlier that evening, prompting the request of search crews to locate the climber.

It was at 4 a.m. when the climber, a 55-year-old Okanagan Falls resident, was assessed by medical personnel and placed onto a stretcher.

“We got the job done, team members were motivated and happy to have completed the rescue successfully,” said Ron Berlie, a search manager. “It’s what they train for and we put all of our assets to use in challenging terrain and it all paid off.”

Berlie said the woman had suffered a fall during the day but was unable to extract themselves due to injuries.

At 9:30 p.m., the climber was located hanging from their harness five meters from the top of a cliff.

“Now that we had found the subject we were faced with the most difficult part of our operation, how to rescue the subject from the cliff face and bring them out of the park,” Bernie said.

With no option of nighttime evacuation, crews carried in rope gear and supplies to converge at the top of the cliff face. A rope rescue was used to bring the climber to the top of the canyon.

Representatives from PENSAR say that for the next five and a half hours, members made their way through the canyon trails by using a number of rope systems to bring the climber out of the park to hand over to BC Emergency Health Services staff.

Crews said they wish the climber a speedy recovery.

The severity of her injuries was not mentioned in PENSAR’s release.

READ MORE: Busy afternoon for Penticton Search and Rescue


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