A man is under police investigation after an encounter with search and rescue personnel who were trying to rescue an injured paraglider atop Mount Paul on Sunday night (Nov. 13).
According to Kamloops RCMP, a 35-year-old man was arrested at the base of the mountain after having allegedly interfered with Kamloops Search and Rescue (KSAR) by hiking to the top of Mount Paul peak and acting belligerently toward rescuers.
Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoilet told KTW that after being abusive to rescue members, the man hiked back down the mountain, where he was arrested. She said the man alleged he was helping KSAR.
Kamloops Search and Rescue manager Alan Hobler told KTW there were some civilians who showed up on the mountain who wanted to help, but they were told to leave.
Shoilet said the man was released without charge, pending further investigation.
Search and rescue personnel faced a difficult operation as they attempted to rescue a man in his 20s who crashed on Mount Paul at about 4 p.m. and was stuck 20 metres down a cliff.
Conditions of the landscape, including the potential for falling rocks, made it too dangerous for KSAR to hoist the man out using its rope rescue team, so a call was made to Canadian Forces Base Comox on Vancouver Island, which sent a crew in a Cormorant helicopter.
The paraglider was airlifted via the Cormorant at about 1 a.m. with a possible broken back or vertebra and hypothermia. The helicopter pilot ended up conducting five rescue hoists that night to extract the injured man, as well as the responding KSAR members and members of the helicopter crew, from the mountain.