A mountain biker who stopped to relieve himself along a Kelowna mountainside is in hospital with serious injuries after losing his footing and falling over a cliff.
The Kelowna Fire Department long-line rescue team used a bucket to pull a 28-year-old man out of a ravine at the base of Dilworth Mountain off the Okanagan Rail Trail below the Monashee neighbourhood on Tuesday afternoon.
Rescuers were called to the greenbelt location in the centre of town just after 3 p.m. and had to use GPS coordinates to find the injured man who called for help using his cellphone.
“We found the gentleman’s bike and a couple of hundred yards further we found the cliff and saw him and the bottom of the cliff,” Kelowna Fire Department platoon captain Tim Light said. ”It was about 60 feet, the fall that he took, a 60-foot-free-fall.”[/tweetable]
The man sustained major lower-body injuries, which could include fractured ankles, according to Light, and possibly internal injuries.
“He was conscious the whole time but he was quite shocked by the time we got to him,” Light said.
“He was in a definite amount of pain when we got to him. When our first crew sighted him, he was screaming in pain and probably to let people know where he was as well.”
A helicopter rescue was considered, according to Light, but they didn’t want to wait an extra 45 minutes for the aircraft to arrive.
“It took us about 15 minutes from time of him being loaded into our basket to time of getting him up to our UTV (utility task vehicle). In another 15 minutes he was inside the ambulance,” he said.
Light said the man told paramedics he is a resident of the Conerstone Shelter in downtown Kelowna.
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