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Injured dirt bike rider rescued after West Kelowna-area crash

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue helped recover a man injured in a dirt bike crash on Saturday. Megan Turcato / Global News

A helicopter was called in Saturday to help rescue the driver of a dirt bike who was injured in a crash in the Bear Creek OHV trails, in the Central Okanagan.

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) said the man suffered injuries to his chest, arm and leg when he crashed his motorbike into the terrain.

COSAR sent a ground team in to find the man and provide first aid.

Meanwhile, due to the nature of his injuries, Penticton Search and Rescue was called in to fly him out of the backcountry by helicopter.

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The patient was flown to a nearby campground where he was transferred to an ambulance.

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The rescue was part of a busy Saturday for search crews.

Just as they were wrapping up the call for the injured dirt bike driver, at around 8:15 p.m., COSAR crews were dispatched to search for a woman who had gone out floating on Okanagan Lake earlier in the day.

However, roughly an hour later the search was called off. Search and rescue crews were notified the woman was safe.

Read more: Central Okanagan Search and Rescue crews aid injured biker, assist in empty boat search

The busy Labour Day weekend comes at the end of a busy summer for search crews.

“It generally has been a busy summer, especially the latter part once the sun has come out, across the province search and rescue groups have seen an uptick in the amount of calls that we are getting,” COSAR search manager Rob Braun said.

“It’s as if between COVID-19 and the weather people had been kind of held back from getting in the outdoors and people are [now] doing staycations and they are getting out there in the outdoors.”
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Watching the weather, Braun is concerned search crews may need to jump into action again Sunday.

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Environment Canada put out a special weather statement for much of the southern half of British Columbia, including the Okanagan, predicting winds gusting up to 60/km/h Sunday and Monday.

The forecaster is predicting winds will peak on Monday morning and is suggesting people going out on the water should “be prepared for any sudden increase in wind.”

Braun suggests anyone going boating Sunday should check the weather before they head out and ensure they have the required safety equipment on board.

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