Third Lynn Canyon rescue made in a week: DNVFRS

There’s been another rescue in Lynn Canyon, the District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services confirmed.

NVFRS crews were called out on Sunday, just days after a man drowned and another intoxicated man had to be rescued after cliff-jumping in the same area.

District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services (DNVFRS) says the call came in just before 12 p.m. after a hiker slipped and fell and rolled their ankle while traversing a steep cliff.

The hiker fell almost 20 feet and sustained a serious head injury and a possible broken leg, DNVFRS Chief Mike Danks explained.

On Saturday night, a young person had to be carried out after a near-drowning in the same area where some young people had been drinking, and just days earlier, there was a drowning in Lynn Canyon.

“These are the kinds of calls we get in those areas. The message is don’t mix alcohol with drugs with the Canyon. They just don’t go together. You need to be sharp with your judgement in those areas because it is very hazardous,” Danks urged.

Danks, who spent more than 25 years with North Shore Rescue, says if you’re going for a hike, you have to be prepared.

“The call on Sunday was for the hiker … and these are calls that happen. When you navigate through Lynn Canyon and Lynn Headwaters Park, you’re out in the wilderness and once you go off trail to navigate down to the creek, those are steep areas and you need to have appropriate footwear and you need to have a good sense of having appropriate hold, so you don’t fall.”

He says don’t do anything you’re not comfortable doing, as conditions can change rapidly.

“The rivers are very cold. There are underwater hazards that are not always visible from above the water and the other challenge is it’s really hard to get out of the Canyon.”

Danks says crews are consistently training on how to do rescues in the area and expects they’ll be kept very busy this summer. In the meantime, he’s urging people to be extra cautious if they’re heading to the area.

“People need to know when they make a jump into the river that you’re on your own at that point and you really need to have the skills and abilities to get out of that situation yourself. And if that’s not the case, it’s going to take a little while for crews to get there.”

Danks, a father of three children, says calls like last week’s drowning hit close to home and he wants parents to talk to their kids about the potential consequences.

“I attended the drowning and saw the amazing work that all of the fire crews and partner agencies did to try and save that young man’s life. I came home after that call and my daughter was going to the Canyon. What I would say to you is please, take the time, talk to your kids about the dangers and ensure they understand.”

He stresses every time they get called out, it can be tough on resources.

“It is definitely taxing. We’re geared up and ready, but there is an impact. When someone is injured in the Canyon, you take a lot of crews out of service. It affects BC Ambulance, North Shore Rescue, the rangers, fire service, Metro Vancouver, so the impact is big.”

Danks says on sunny days there are extra resources on hand to help guide people.

Editor’s Note: The District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services clarified to CityNews that Sunday’s rescue was not a cliff-jumper, and instead was a hiker who fell. CityNews has updated this story to reflect the clarification.

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