While hiking the North Coast Trail on Vancouver Island this past summer, Shannon Cunningham, of Everett, fell near a Ranger Station at Cape Sutil. She slipped on a mossy wood paver. Her feet slipped backwards and she fell forward onto her shoulder. Later she found out her fall had dislocated and broken her shoulder.
At first she thought everything was going to be OK, but she couldn’t get up on her own and laid there for 10 minutes. There were two young ladies, Kora and Kristina from Germany, also staying at the same location, so she wasn’t very worried about being alone. She started to yell for them and they came to her rescue.
The girls helped her eat, drink and attempted to put on a SAM Splint that Shannon had in her pack. She waited for a ranger to show up at the nearby ranger station, but no one came. Finally, Shannon hit the button on her SPOT device. This put a lot of actions into place.
Two hours after Shannon hit her beacon, the Canadian Coast Guard arrived at the cape and came to land on a Zodiac boat. The two rescuers, Dale and Craig, helped her up, carried her into the water and lifted her into the boat.
We also discuss her family member, Karen, who lost her life this summer on Sauk Mountain. She was nearing the top when she misstepped and fell down the edge of the trail and hit her head. She was a very experienced hiker and a small trail accident turned fatal.
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Rudy Giecek of Arlington is the host of the Cascade Hiker Podcast. (More about Rudy here.) You can find the entire archive of podcasts and support his work at his website. Or email him at email@example.com.